The end-of-life experience is unique to each individual. Any care plan should meet the patient's and family's needs. Discussion of the care plan and its goals should include the patient, family, and decision-maker as appropriate.
These discussions can be challenging and there may be differing viewpoints among the patient, family, and health care providers.
Health care providers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center believe their obligation is to the patient. All decisions will be based on the best interest of the patient and the patient's expressed desires.
Hospice care is designed for people who are in the last six months of their life and who are not receiving treatment aimed at curing their disease or prolonging their life. Usually hospice care is provided in your home by your own caregiver (such as a family member) along with regular visits from a hospice team (specialized nurses, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers).
Palliative care is focused on the prevention and relief of suffering, and to support the best possible quality of life for patients and their families, regardless of the stage of their disease. Palliative care can be given during curative, life-prolonging or end of life care.
The Fred Hutch Supportive and Palliative Care team can help you decide if and when it is right to enroll in hospice. We can also assist with referrals to hospice care and provide ongoing coordination of care with the hospice team.
End-of-life care is given at the last phases of life where comfort measures are designed to relieve pain or discomfort. The goals of comfort care are to optimize comfort and dignity as defined by the patient and supported by the family and surrogate decision-maker.
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization