What is Hospice?

What is Hospice?

Hospice is a specialized program of caring for those with a serious illness. The concept of choosing comfort and quality of life over curative care was conceived in 1945 in Great Britain by Dame Cicely Saunders. As a nurse, when she identified that better pain control methods and holistic care were needed to comfort those with a serious illness, she was told that no doctor would go along with her ideas. Refusing to allow skepticism to stifle what she knew was a viable solution for end-of-life comfort, she graduated from St. Thomas Medical School in 1957 as a medical doctor! Dr. Saunders then received a research scholarship to study pain control in people who were terminally ill, so she founded St. Joseph’s Hospice in London where her care focused on comfort and quality of life.

“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

Much like Dr. Saunders, the focus of Affinity Hospice is to provide comfort that increases quality of life for our patients and their families. Our mission is to MAKE EVERY MOMENT MATTER, which includes addressing medical and psychosocial needs in addition to providing spiritual support as requested by the patient. We believe in treating the WHOLE person, not only their medical needs. The hospice philosophy accepts death as the final stage of life: it affirms life and neither hastens nor postpones death. Hospice care treats the person rather than the disease, working to manage symptoms so that a person’s last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones. Hospice care is also family-centered – it includes the patient and the family in making decisions. Hospice care can improve quality of life for those diagnosed with:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Neurological Diseases (Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, etc.)
  • Kidney Failure
  • Liver Disease
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)