What is hospice care?

Hospice focuses on comfort and quality of life rather than curing, and in many cases, care is provided in the person’s home. Hospice is a philosophy, but it can also be a program like our Hospice without Walls.

Hospice care is a philosophy of care that seeks to help people who are nearing the end of life to live as fully and meaningfully as possible until the end. It does this by focusing on alleviating symptoms, providing comfort and supporting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the individual. Hospice care ensures both the people receiving the care and their loved ones get the resources they need to allow that to happen. The hope that hospice brings is a quality life, making the best of each day.

You Matter because of who you are. You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully but also to live until you die.

– Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the first modern hospice

Supportive young caregiver spending time with an older woman.

Hospice vs. palliative care

Palliative care is a term that encompasses whole-person care for people facing a serious life-limiting illness. Just like hospice care, it is designed to improve comfort and quality of life. Palliative care can begin at or close to diagnosis and can be provided alongside active disease treatments, even as the illness is deemed incurable. Hospice care often begins once disease altering treatment for the illness is stopped. Prairie Hospice accompanies people in palliative care/treatment and will continue support when disease-modifying treatments are finished.

Hospice without Walls 

Prairie Hospice’s Hospice without Walls and Hospice Now programs support people at the end of their lives, and provide respite to caregivers and family, in the comfort of the client’s own home. We are a hospice “without walls” because we are not organized around a freestanding residential hospice. Our purpose is to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their families. Volunteers are specially trained to provide non-medical care and companionship, free of charge.

Why hospice care is important

Many studies have identified that a large majority of patients prefer to die at home if the resources are available to support their choice. It takes a community to ensure compassionate and practical care in our end-of-life journey. Hospice represents a shared concern and a renewed effort to ensure that those in our community who are dying, and their families feel welcome and cared for.

Hospice at home

Our services are provided by highly qualified volunteers and include helping clients with some of the instrumental activities of daily living that allow clients to live independently in the community.