Today, hospice care provides humane and compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible. However, Polling shows that about 90 percent of Americans say they want to die at home surrounded by family and friends, according to the Hospice Foundation of America. Hospice care has both strengths and weakness as listed below:
Positive viewpoints of Hospice Care
1. Hospice Philosophy which includes complete care for care receivers, dignified death, pain management, acceptance of death experienced by care receivers and continuity of care.
2. Availability of Care includes emotional support and funding for services provided.
3. Quality of Care.
4. Support from volunteer and staff which is received from hospice.
5. Communication between the physicians, the patients and the family.
Negative viewpoints of hospice care
1. Lack of knowledge among community members, current clients, physicians, and medical students
2. Social Stigma e.g. Hospice is the end of the road, Hospice equates death.
3. Lack of Care includes unavailability of services, staff turnover, lack of consistency and unavailable volunteers.
4. Other barriers like restraining facility, regulation, funding, time, Interest and attitude toward hospice etc.
5. Lack of experience among staff and between physicians and hospice.
Overall Hospice provides palliative care, which is treatment to help relieve symptoms, but not cure the disease; its main purpose is to improve quality of life. The patient, family and the doctor decide when hospice care should begin.