Hospice is not a place, but a concept for healthcare delivery to those dealing with life-limiting illness. Hospice focuses on creating a natural and comfortable end-of-life experience for those confronted with a terminal condition. Through a range of palliative, medical, nursing, psychosocial, and spiritual care provided by an interdisciplinary team of experts, hospice seeks to manage symptoms and provide comfort when cure is no longer possible.
As part of the continuum of care, hospice is designed to provide comfort and support for hospice-appropriate patients and their families in order to improve quality of life. Hospice services and the manner in which they are provided are determined by an interdisciplinary team (IDT) of healthcare professionals who are specially trained in working with dying patients and their families. These physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, certified home health aides, volunteers, and ancillary therapists work together with the patient and family to develop the hospice plan of care.