Hospice is a type of care that focuses on providing the best quality of life possible for patients who are terminally ill. Hospice switches the focus of care away from life-extending treatments and tests and places it on pain and symptom management.
It’s important to note that when someone chooses hospice care they aren’t giving up. Instead, they are choosing to make the best of the life they have left.
Hospice care is provided by a team that is made up of physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors, chaplains, case managers and trained volunteers. In addition to helping with pain and symptoms, this team works with the patient and family to provide emotional and spiritual support. It also provides bereavement support after the patient passes.
The decision to start hospice is a personal one that patients should discuss with their UPMC Pinnacle Breast Care Center team, family and friends. Ideally, this conversation should take place while the patient is able to express personal opinions and wishes about their care and quality of life.
Patients and families can work with their physician and nurse navigator to obtain information on hospice care. They will help to make families aware of what their hospice options are in their community.