Langley Hospice Society
A Glossary of Terms.
Hospice: Hospice is not a place or a facility. It is a philosophy of care that provides spiritual, social, emotional and physical support for dying persons and their families. Hospice considers the whole individual in addition to his or her family. In contrast to the medical model that focuses largely on disease and the prevention of death, hospice attends to the person with the goal of sustaining the quality of remaining life.
Palliative Care: Palliative care provides symptom control and optimal comfort during the end stage of life. In contrast to curative therapies, palliative care attempts to relieve pain and discomfort, thereby providing the physical aspects of hospice care.
Unit of Care: Unit of care is a term used to describe the intended focus of a certain type of program or treatment. The unit of hospice care is identified as the family and the individual who is encouraged to choose and direct the care received. Engaging in a relationship that will naturally involve the death of an individual, hospice caregivers attend carefully to the needs of the family during and after the death.
Bereavement: Bereavement is a state of grieving loss through death. Families and close friends go through this state for considerable periods of time after the death of an individual, and often require support during this difficult time of separation and grieving.
Grief: Grief is a cluster of emotions that occur in response to loss. These emotions can include anger, guilt, sadness, abandonment, and other feelings that contribute to a reaction to the loss of a relative, partner or friend.
Mourning: For family and friends, the grieving period after the death of an individual is a time of emotional healing. Mourning is an active state, where one consciously attempts to work through the often confusing feelings of grief.