Life has an end, but the quality and dignity of life can be chosen. When a doctor announces that there are currently no treatment to prolong the lives of terminally ill patients, hospice care is their rest stop before traveling to the next life stage. An interdisciplinary medical team provides holistic care of body, mind, and soul with compassion and professionalism and stays by the patients' side quietly before they finish the last journey of life.
The history of the word “hospice” dates back hundreds of years and it originally meant a place for repose and shelter for people who are exhausted from long journeys. Since British Dame Cicely Saunders founded Christopher's Hospice in London in 1967 functioning as a special care facility for patients with cancers and other terminal illnesses, and led the world's hospice care campaign, the word “hospice” has evolved into the concept that terminally ill patients should be prevented from suffering pain and live with dignity and quality in the last phase of their lives.
Hospice care is palliative, focusing on relieving the patients' symptoms, rather than treating their illness or attempting to prolong their lives. Therefore, the special treatment method developed according to this principle is called hospice palliative care.
The hospice palliative services provided by the hospital are "hospice care in hospital," "hospice care at home," and "hospice shared care." The purpose of all these care is to alleviate the physical and spiritual pain and anxiety of terminally ill patients, stay by their side until they go through the last stage with dignity, and help their family cope with care difficulties and bereavement.
Hospice care in hospital (Meide ward)
The hospital's "Meide ward" provides inpatient care for terminally ill patients with acute symptoms, which are assessed by physicians for hospitalization.
The ward, located on the 11th floor of the Meide building, has an independent floor with a total of 18 beds. In addition to doctors and nurses, it possesses a team comprised of chaplains, psychologists, social workers, and volunteers to provide patients and their families with complete medical team services.
Hospice care at home
It offers hospice inpatients' follow-up care after discharge, or home visits and nursing care for patients with terminal illness who have advanced-stage care needs but do not need to be hospitalized after a physician found no acute symptom.
Hospice shared care
Patients of advanced disease who are still in the general acute ward are referred by the original treatment team and receive hospice palliative care in addition to the care by original treatment team.