While all types of hospice care share some similarities (a focus on patient comfort and freedom from pain, for instance), they are not identical. There are four levels or types of hospice care offered by most providers.
There are several types of hospice care services for families who are terminally ill with cancer. These services can range from nothing more than palliative care to a full hospice program. Routine care is usually the first tier of hospice service that most individuals use. At this level, the primary care provider will visit the patient's place of residence, which is usually the family home. During this visit, they will offer the patient spiritual support and non-medical support.
When it comes to spiritual support, the patient may be given information about their spirituality and answered questions about their current situation and future. The patient may also receive comfort from being told that death is not a scary thing and that they are loved and accepted by everyone. The patient is then prepared to begin the process of accepting their life during this period.
During the intensive care stage of hospice, the patients are in a very deep state of depression and do not respond to any type of treatment. This is where all the focus is on relieving the pain and discomfort of the cancer. The medication is stopped and no physical therapy or other forms of treatment are administered. Family members and friends who have been with the patient during this stage of the illness decide to stop all efforts and prayers and focus on the emotional aspects of the situation and help the patient cope with this drastic change in their lives.