As a medical professional dedicated to the care of elderly patients, I have seen countless seniors and their families go through the sometimes distressing experience of coping with a terminal illness. They struggle with shifting away from curative treatments and coming to terms with the diagnosis. The reality of the situation is especially difficult after the realization that previously agreed upon and recommended medical treatments no longer bring about any significant benefits or results in uncomfortable side effects.

For some, this is a time of fear, uncertainty, and suffering. There is a way to change the narrative. Expertise, guidance and support provided by home hospice professionals transforms the perception of the situation, replacing feelings of hopelessness and confusion with feelings of contentment, hope and even optimism.

What is Hospice Care?

Hospice care is a type of care that focuses on improving the quality of life for patients who have a life-limiting illness and an expected prognosis of six months or less to live if the disease follows its normal course. It provides physical, emotional and spiritual support for the patient and their family members. Hospice eases the burdens families often face while living with a terminal illness.

Hospice care does not seek to cure the disease or prolong life. Rather, its goal is to provide comfort and help manage the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the patient and the family. Care is highly specialized and provided in various settings. They include the patient’s home, a hospital, a nursing home, or another in-patient hospice facility. For many patients, hospice care at home is a preferred option.

How Does Hospice Care Benefit Patients?

Hospice care is comprehensive comfort care and family support that provides my patients with many benefits. They include:

 – A 24-hour on-call nurse who can respond to any urgent needs or questions and assist patients in managing pain medications.

 – Increased availability to health care professionals, such as doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists, and trained volunteers.

 – Reduced to no cost durable medical equipment and medications to increase comfort and relieve pain and other symptoms.

 – Individualized care plan that respects the patient’s wishes and goals and is reviewed and revised as necessary.

 – Emotional and spiritual support for the patient and the family.

 – Bereavement support for the family after the patient’s death.

How Does Hospice Care Benefit Doctors?

Hospice care not only benefits patients and families, it benefits medical professionals too. Some noted benefits include enhanced communication, reduced burden on the care provider in managing complex and distressing symptoms, and professional and personal growth.

 – Hospice care professionals assist me in ensuring concordance between the patient’s stated goals and their care plan goals. The improved communication increases patient satisfaction with care and the comfort level of both patients and family members.

 – Case management support from hospice care nurses and social workers ensures that my patients receive the care they need in a timely manner. This reduces the need for hospital admissions or after hours calls to a care provider and the challenges that hospice doctors sometimes experience when managing complex and distressing symptoms from a distance.

 – Hospice care is holistic care that wraps my patients in support. Knowing that a patient’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs are met removes a heavy weight from my shoulders. Hospice care improves their mood and protects their mental and spiritual health. Trained professionals educate my patients and their families and ensure that they understand their prognosis. Each patient then benefits by having support in establishing their end of life care goals.

 – Every day, I find opportunities to learn from the hospice team and their shared information about each patient’s care experience. Enhanced knowledge helps me to be a better physician and a better person. It gives me increased confidence in making complex medical recommendations regarding end of life prognosis and care.


Hospice care is a valuable option for patients who are facing a terminal diagnosis and the end of life. It provides physical, emotional, and spiritual support to my patients and their families. With hospice care, comfort, dignity, and peace of mind are the gifts given to those who need them most. 

As a doctor, I believe in broaching discussions about hospice care early, even before a patient is symptomatic or experiencing pain. Having seen the positive impact of hospice care for my patients and in my own practice and life, I encourage anyone who is eligible for this comprehensive comfort care option to consider it. The service helps individuals to find peace and enjoy a higher quality of life. Further, I encourage my patients to share their treatment and end of life goals with me early and often. This helps me guide them toward the options that are best suited for their unique circumstances. 

About Salus Hospice 

Salus is a 5-star rated and Joint Commission accredited home hospice care provider. Our professional team is here to assist doctors and other senior care professionals in managing their patients end of life care needs. Contact us anytime at (888) 881-4822 to discuss our services or with your patient referrals.