Blog Article

What does 'hospice' mean?

By Island

'HOSPICE' a word which originally described a shelter for travellers, later came to be used for homes for sick people nearing the end of their life's journey. But today, 'hospice' denotes the specialised care that must replace cure as the aim of treatment when medicine can no longer offer full recovery.


Hospice care starts with the physical needs of the sick, in effective control of pain and other distressing symptoms. Then the social, emotional or spiritual needs of the patient and the whole family are considered and met in whatever way they may choose.


The hospice movement developed from St Christopher's Hospice which was opened in London in 1967 by Dr. Cecily Saunders after years of research into the control of physical and emotional pain.


The above is an extract from the 1990 Island Hospice Service review


What is the difference between hospice & palliative care? Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort. But palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and at the same time as treatment. Hospice care begins after treatment of the disease is stopped and when it is clear that the person is not going to survive the illness.

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