What is a hospice?

How people died remains in the memory of those who live on - Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement

Watch our video to learn more:

What is a hospice?

A hospice exists to improve the lives of people who have a life-limiting or terminal illness, helping them to live as actively as they can to the end of their lives, however long that may be. It not only takes care of people’s physical needs, but looks after their emotional, spiritual and social needs too.

Hospices also support carers, family members and close friends – both during a person’s illness and during bereavement.

People may be referred to a hospice at any point during their illness, so while some may come in for a few days or weeks towards the end of their lives, many more attend a hospice at much earlier stages of their illness as outpatients; receiving help and support with their symptoms so they and their families can manage at home.

I felt I must write to thank you all for the wonderful care and kindness you showed to my family and especially to my son as he spent his last days at Priscilla Bacon Lodge. We are so grateful that he was able to be among such lovely dedicated people as he left us. Thank you all again.

 – Mother of a former patient at Priscilla Bacon Lodge

More than just a building

A hospice is not just a building – it is a way of caring for people; whether in their own homes, day care and in-patient units, or in hospitals and care homes. In fact, in the UK, some 84% of hospice care is provided in community-based settings.

Across the UK, hospices support more than 200,000 people with terminal and life-limiting conditions each year. They play a very important role in supporting people’s families as well; with 46,000 people in the UK receiving pre and post-bereavement support each year.

There are many misconceptions about what hospice care is and the kinds of people it helps. Click below to read some of the myths about hospices and to learn the truth:

 

Hospice myth busting

Among the services offered by hospices are:

  • Pain and symptom control
  • Psychological and social support, including counselling
  • Rehabilitation – helping patients to stay independent and continue to live their lives as they have done before
  • Complementary therapies, such as massage and aromatherapy
  • Spiritual care
  • Family therapy
  • Practical and financial advice
  • Bereavement support and counselling

Hospices support people with a wide range of conditions; including, (but not limited to): cancer, motor neurone disease, cardio-vascular diseases, dementia, multiple sclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Parkinson’s disease.

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