Palliative Care means treating the symptoms of a disease rather than trying to find a cure. Most often this means treating pain and irritable symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, difficulty sleeping and many others. Patients typically have a life expectancy of less than one year, however, palliative care under Hospice services is for those with 6 months or less to live.
How Does Hospice Manage Pain?
The patient's attending physician can prescribe pain medication. Nurses will teach in-home patients and their families how to administer medication. They will also conduct regular medication counts to ensure it is taken properly.
In addition to the physical treatment of pain, Hospice support specialists take a holistic approach to addressing pain management through exploring the psychological, emotional and sociological needs of the patient. This multidimensional assessment insures the whole patient is taken into consideration, not only medical avenues to patient comfort.