Does hospice offer any private settings where I can live out my last days?

5 answers | Last updated: Oct 26, 2016
Childofjesus2008 asked...

I need to know if Hospice has a private place where I can go to live out my last days when it happens. I do not and will not be a burden to my children.

Expert Answers

Audrey Wuerl, RN, BSN, PHN, is education coordinator for Hospice of San Joaquin in California. She is also a geriatric trainer for the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC), which promotes education in geriatric nursing and end-of-life care.

One of the greatest fears patients have is being a burden to family when faced with a life-limiting disease. This fear can even be greater than fearing pain at the end of life. So, rest assured there are options for patients with terminal diseases to receive hospice services besides in the home setting.

But, first I'd like to clarify what hospice tries to achieve. Hospice offers supportive care for patients and families when cure is no longer an option. For most patients, this would be in the 6 month period preceding death. Hospice is a philosophy that allows people to remain in their own homes, with family and friends, and strives to provide quality of life when quantity is no longer an option. Patients and families receive the care, training, and support from the hospice team of nurses, social workers, and chaplains to achieve this goal. Hospice workers can manage pain and symptoms that cause distress for the patient and family"”and help offer a life closure with dignity and respect.

These services can also be offered in a nursing home or assisted living facility. And some hospices, such as the one I work for, have a private hospice setting called a Hospice House that is available for patients who require around-the-clock care, usually within the last two months of life. Sometimes the Hospice House option is appropriate for a patient with an elderly or frail caregiver. Usually these houses are reserved for patients whose pain and symptoms are difficult to control in other setting.

But, regardless of where the care is received, the concept of hospice is about living until you die.

Community Answers

Catfather answered...

My father, mother, sister and two close friends all used Hospice -- not so much the physical traippings as the philosophy. It is wonderful assistance to the patient, and the family and friends.

Philly liz answered...

Hospice helps patients and their families. My husband spent four days in hospice (it had its own building), and his death was made easy both for him and our family.

Linny answered...

Dear Child of Jesus...Caring for you will not be a burden for your children.You should give them the opportunity to love and care for you as much as possible because when you leave,their memories of all the love they could share with you will be all that they have left.Please don't leave them before you have to.The only burden they will carry is in missing you for the rest of their lives.

Mswolfedog answered...

Dear Child of Jesus, Let me share something with you. I just lost my Mom two weeks ago. The greatest thing she left me are the memories of the past 31/2 years that I got to spend with her one on one. Nobody else got that time with her. It wasn't always easy and sometimes I wondered if I could keep going. I could have bailed out and passed the responsibility on but I didn't. I was with her to the end. She wanted to be at home and she didn't want to be alone. I was able to give her both. And I would give anything if I could do it all over again. I miss my Mom. My reward was the time we shared together and the memories that belong only to me. Let your kids help you. You won't be a burden.