Hospice care is a type of care that focuses on provision of humane and compassionate care for people who have life-limiting illnesses that no longer responds to treatments.
This type of care is given to them so that they might live the last phases of their lives as comfortable as possible. Hospice care is a philosophy care that takes the viewpoint that accepts death as a life’s final stage.Practicing hospice care has a specific goal in helping patients in leading pain-free lives of their last days as possible.
Hospice care is a family-centered since the family members of the patient are involved in making decisions throughout the process. Hospice care gives patients palliative care, which is a type of treatment that only relieves a patient off the symptoms of the disease with main purpose being improving the patient’s quality of life (Hospice Foundation of America, 2011).
The United States is a good example of a country where hospice care is well developed. Establishment of Hospice care in the United States was in the year 1974 and its development was in New Haven. Today hospice programs in the United States have grown to a huge number of about 4,700 programs. The hospice programs in the United States majorly aims at making patients last days comfortable and dignified.
A team of specially trained professionals, family members and volunteers does provision of hospice care. Hospice care generally deals with emotional, spiritual and social impact of the patient’s disease. Lastly, hospice care in the United States provides a variety of counseling and bereavement services to the family members.
This is applicable before and after the death of a patient.Apart from the United States practicing hospice care, two other countries, which utilize hospice care, are Thailand and Australia (Hospice Foundation of America, 2011).
Hospice care in Thailand began in the 1980s. Previously, patients had to be cared for in hospitals or private residences. In comparison, Hospice care in Thailand consists of inpatient hospice services and outpatient homecare services. In giving hospice care, it is notable that most of the care of about 90% given to patients happens at home.
The difference that is there in Thailand is that provision of hospice care at home and hospice centers are different in that services at the hospice centers are inpatient. In Thailand, hospice services do not cover bereavement services as in the case of the United States where the service lasts for about 6 months or up to 1-year period. Hospice and homecare services in Thailand are twoseparate entities (Yaowarat & Aud,2009).
In Australia, Hospice care establishment started in 1990. The hospice care in Australia differs slightly with the one provided in the United States and Thailand. The main difference being that, hospice care offered in Australia caters for the patient’s grief needs and the needs of the family members of the patient (Palliative Care Australia, 2011).
The similarities that exist between the countries mentioned above that provide hospice care services are that hospice care in all the countries is collaborated by a team of professionals. The team comprises of staff or volunteers who undergo training in specialized knowledge of medical care that is inclusive of pain management.
Secondly, the main goal of hospice care in all of the countries is the alleviation or control of pain and symptoms of the disease. Thirdly, hospice care in all the countries mainly focuses on how to deal with the emotional, social and spiritual impacts the patients disease.
As the patchwork of hospice careservices continues to grow, developments of imaginative models are vital meeting the needs of localpeople worldwide. In many instances, establishment of these services is through prompting ofvisionary individuals and like-minded pioneers,sometimes with meager resources, yet united bythe common aim of providing better care for dyingpeople. However, much morework needs to be done to ensure that the numberof people who have access to hospice careincreases(Hospice Foundation of America, 2011).
Hospice Foundation of America. (2011) End-of-life care resources for professionals, patients and families. Retrieved from http://www.hospicefoundation.org/
Palliative Care Australia. (2011).About Palliative Care Australia. Retrieved from http://www.palliativecare.org.au/Default.aspx?tabid=1115
Yaowarat, M. &Aud, M. (2009). Hospice Care: A Cross-cultural Comparison between the United States and Thailand.Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing, 11, 262 – 268. Retrieved from http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/330570-hospice-in-thailand/