What is Hospice?

All your life you have enjoyed the benefits of living in the society. After you retire from your job, it is time for you to give something back to the society from which you have benefited so much. You can contribute your services towards your community in number of ways. Engaging yourself with a hospice organization as a volunteer or a caregiver would be a valuable service.

Hospice care refers to specialized supportive care towards terminally ill people and their families. This type of palliative care is more focused on the patients’ comfort and the quality of life during their last days. Hospice care programs often include the services of a doctor, nurse, clergy and social worker.
History of Hospice

The history of the term “hospice” can be traced to the Latin word “hospitum.” It literally means a guesthouse. Hospices were established to provide shelter to sick and tired travelers. The term was first applied to refer to the care towards dying patients by Mme. Jeanne Garnier who founded the first hospice in France in 1942. The first hospice organization in the US was set up in 1974 in Connecticut. At present there are as many as 3200 hospice care organizations. According to available records, the hospice organizations in the country were responsible for taking care of 885,000 people in the year 2002 alone.