The word "hospice" stems from the Latin word "hospitium" meaning guesthouse. It was originally used to describe a place of shelter for weary and sick travelers returning from religious pilgrimages.
The hospice program at Northstar Senior Living was designed to deliver palliative care to individuals who are in the final stages of a terminal illness. At Northstar, we believe that through effective, compassionate care, patients can approach the end of their lives with dignity and comfort in the midst of a caring environment sensitive to their needs. We do this by helping our patients achieve physical and emotional comfort so they can concentrate on living life as fully as possible.
According to the Hospice Foundation of America (HFA) the following are guidelines and principles regarding hospice services. Northstar Senior Living hospice care embraces these principles.
- Hospice is a special concept of care designed to provide comfort and support to patients and their families when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments.
- Hospice care neither prolongs life nor hastens death. Hospice staff and volunteers offer a specialized knowledge of medical care, including pain management.
- The goal of hospice care is to improve the quality of a patient's last days by offering comfort and dignity.
- Hospice care is provided by a team-oriented group of specially trained professionals, volunteers and family members.
- Hospice addresses all symptoms of a disease, with a special emphasis on controlling a patient's pain and discomfort.
- Hospice deals with the emotional, social and spiritual impact of the disease on the patient and the patient's family and friends.
- Hospice offers a variety of bereavement and counseling services to families before and after a patient's death.