Why the palliative care unit is not a hospice

I work on a palliative care unit in the Asklepios clinic, Lich, and often is confused with a hospice. In both establishments, the persons that are terminally ill. And in two facilities each Patient has his own room and their relatives over night. But where exactly is the difference?

A carrier of a hospice‘ is usually an Association or a Foundation. Some were founded by churches. Health insurance companies will cover most of the costs, a portion is funded through donations and volunteer activity.

In the hospice no longer conduct investigations. It will work there, including Nurses, but in addition very much more volunteers than we do in the hospital. They support the full-time employees. Music therapists, chaplains and Aroma experts, for example. Aroma-expert learned in a special training, such as fragrances, contribute to the well-being of the people. You apply washes or in fragrance lamps.

The needs of Dying adjusted

In a hospice can be made on the individual’s needs, such as special requests during the meal, very much more intense. Also the building conditions are better the Dying adapted. For example, there is sometimes terraces or balconies, which is also a bed fits.

Part of the hospital operation

A palliative care unit is part of an Acute hospital. Therefore, sisters and nurses, with the support of the volunteer visiting service to work with us, especially the sick. We are mostly women in the retirement age, the over to look at patients who get little or no visitors. The structures of the hospital are also given on the palliative ward. We get to sample the food as other patients on other stations also.

Also, the Dying benefit from studies

For studies and therapies are possible with us, the quality of life of patients improve. An example: there Is suspicion that the patient’s symptoms may be caused by a Brain metastasis, we can perform a computed tomography (CT). The metastasis would not be treated in the case of a dying patient. But the headaches, which are caused of it, very well.

It’s taken all the complaints of the people seriously. This also includes fear, shortness of breath or weakness in addition to pain. And also the friends and relatives, we must not forget. We try to assist you. We pursue a holistic approach in the support of fatally ill people. Of course, this also connects us to the hospice.

Return to home

An important goal is for us also, to stabilize the people. Because if that succeeds, we can be released home. Together, we look to see what support of care services and resources to at home. A stay in a hospice is discussed with us, if the domestic supply can no longer be guaranteed. Sometimes nothing is all the. If the condition of a patient deteriorates at us rapidly, then he will die with us, peacefully.

Photo: Cornelia Hartmann