Hospice: A home that provides care for the terminally ill. Cancer patients in their last stages and others who have six months or less to live, benefit from moving into a hospice as the hospice is geared to take care of their needs and ensure comfort and care.
Palliative care: Palliative care refers to treatment given not towards curing an illness, but towards keeping the patient comfortable and pain free.
Looking after a loved one who is terminally ill is one of the toughest assignments one can have. Firstly, unless one is a nurse or a doctor, one is not fully qualified for the task at hand. Secondly, if the loved one is suffering, watching them from close quarters can be really traumatic and both emotionally and physically draining.
Under such circumstances, opting for hospice care may be the best thing one can do, for oneself and for the patient. A hospice is geared to look after the terminally ill and will be able to keep your loved one as comfortable as possible. In addition, many times, they will have licenses to procure and prescribe pain killers such as morphine, that are not available to others. On top of that, this will give you the opportunity to spend quality time with the loved one rather than constantly worrying whether one is doing enough for the loved one.
In India, there are quite a few charitable organizations that run palliative centres. Most of these however cater to the poor and destitute. They do the best that they can but given that they are charity run and are invariably filled beyond capacity, they may not be suitable for those that are willing to pay for better quality services.
Searching on google for “hospice”, “palliative care”, “terminally ill care” and similar words along with the name of one’s city will give one a quick overview of the available options.
It is important to remember that considering the option of hospice care for a loved one is not an act of abandonment, a sign that one is relinquishing one’s responsibilities or dereliction of duty.
Under such circumstances, it may be the right thing to do for one’s loved one.