Here are some terms you’ll want to be familiar with during your search for the right hospice care provider for your loved one.
A legal document that states how you would like to be cared for when you are nearing the end-of-your life and no longer have the mental or physical capacity to state your medical treatment decisions. This document also includes a living will which tells your family and medical practitioners what you would like to do in regards to feeding tubes, resuscitation, dialysis, breathing machines, organ or tissue donation, and any other end-of-life treatment decisions.
A medical treatment that provides the patient with key nutrients and hydration. This treatment is provided via intravenous administration or through a tube placed in the stomach when the patient cannot eat or drink enough to help preserve their health and life.
The ability of a patient who is nearing end-of-life to make decisions about the benefits and risks of treatment procedures as well as the medical issues.
Typically a family member or primary caregiver that is mentioned in the advance directive who will make medical decisions for the patient should they no longer be able to understand or choose medical treatment decisions.
End-of-life care that seeks to alleviate the patient’s pain and suffering through the application of medical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual care. Hospice is provided to patients with a life expectancy of six months or less. While other forms of care seek to improve or change specific health issues, hospice seeks to console and comfort the patient while providing support to their loved ones for the transition ahead.
Allows the patient to keep their airway open through the use of a tube inserted from the nose or mouth and into the windpipe in order to aid in breathing.
A medical treatment that supports the life of the patient through the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, intubation and mechanical ventilation, artificial nutrition and hydration, antibiotics, or dialysis in order to stabilize the disease or illness.
Part of an advance directive that tells your family and medical practitioners what you would like to do in regards to feeding tubes, resuscitation, dialysis, breathing machines, organ or tissue donation, and any other end-of-life treatment decisions.
A machine which provides oxygen flow to the lungs through a ventilator that is attached to a tube and inserted into the patient’s windpipe.
A legal document that enables the named primary caregiver the ability to make medical decisions on behalf of the patient should the patient no longer be able to make medical decisions.
A form of treatment that cares for patients by alleviating pain and providing comfort measures. This type of care is common in advanced stages of cancer or other life-threatening diseases and seeks to support the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of the patient.
The ability of one or more family members to make choices on behalf of the patient who can no longer make decisions on their own. In these instances, surrogate decision-making is applied when an advance directive was not prepared.
Withholding treatment involves the decision to not begin a potentially life-sustaining treatment; withdrawing treatment involves the decision to stop using the life-sustaining treatment.
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