Death is inevitable and final. The final journey however, for some, can be difficult and exhausting, making any given day an ordeal. Nevertheless, acceptance can be achieved by understanding that it takes some preparation, even hard work, to reach the end of life. "Someone who is dying, like the developing child, goes through stages of discovery, insight, and adjustment to constantly changing circumstances in his person and in the ways people react to him". To successfully navigate these potentially turbulent waters requires the interdisciplinary resources best provided through a hospice and/or palliative care program and the team of providers they employ.
The word "hospice" comes from the Latin word hospes: meaning to host a guest or stranger. In the early 14th century, the order of the Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem opened the first hospice in Rhodes, meant to provide refuge and care for the ill and dying.
Hospice is a type of care and a philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill patient's symptoms. These symptoms can be physical, emotional, spiritual or social in nature. The concept of hospice has been evolving since the 11th century. Then, and for centuries thereafter, hospices were places of hospitality for the sick, wounded, or dying, as well as those for travelers and pilgrims. The modern concept of hospice refers to the palliative care for the incurably ill (terminally ill) patients given in such institutions as an in-patient care. A similar care can also be provided to those who would rather die in their own homes, but would require adequate help and training of those associated with the care of the patient.
As described in the section on 'Palliative Care', there is a phase reached in a cancer patient's life when there is no hope of controlling the disease any further and it is only a matter of time before the patient's life will end. It is now being realized that death is also a phase of life and there is nothing to be gained by merely prolonging living, unless there is a good quality of life for the patient. Hospice care accords dignity to dying and does nothing to hasten or delay death, but aims at symptom relief. Hospice care ensures that the transition from the living to the other world is achieved peacefully, amidst loved ones and with dignity.
Patients who are terminally ill from Cancer invariably have a number of symptoms which cause suffering and pain. These symptoms include: Pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, difficulty in swallowing, etc. The aim of a Hospice is to manage these symptoms and also provide spiritual solace as well as some social interaction. In short, Hospice care aims to put the smile back on the patients face.
We have hence taken our mission as "adding life to living"