The ways in which we experience death have been changing over the last century. The practice of end-of-life care has been influenced by the increased number of deaths occurring inside medical institutions. The percentage of deaths occurring inside US hospitals from 1949 until 1958 has increased by 10%. Back then, hospital staff was more focused on the technical and physical aspects of care rather than about the psychological care of patients. Better conditions were in need for patients with serious illnesses and in 1963 Yale University introduced the concept of the hospice.
Today, hospice care is the compassionate service for patients with a serious illness or injury. Hospice care includes expert medical care, pain management, and emotional support for patients, their friends and families.
Since hospices were introduced in America, demand for hospice services has grown dramatically. In 2014 over 1.65 million were served by hospice. Why does this number continue to grow?
- While 90% of the population does not know about this benefit, hospice care is covered under Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans.
- Hospice care can be provided at the place of residency or other facilities, which makes it convenient for patients and their families.
- Enhancing the patient’s quality of life and preserving the patient’s dignity is the main concern of hospice services.
- Patients who have a chance to recover from a disease are also eligible for hospice care.
- Hospice caregivers provide emotional support for the patients and their families.
- Hospice teams consists of a number of high-skilled specialists including doctors, nurses or nurse practitioners, counselors, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, hospice aides, homemakers, and volunteers.
Is hospice service something you or your loved one might be interested in? Learn more on the WPHHA November podcast or call (412)421-0909 for more information.
Western Pennsylvania home Health Association is a non-profit organization, servicing clients throughout Western Pennsylvania. At WPHHA we have coined the term “mobile healthcare services” to meet your needs on your time. These include in-home nursing, non-medical homecare and rehabilitation services. Our main concern is to help you or your loved ones maintain the highest level of wellness and independence possible.