Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hospice Care?

Hospice care can be defined as ‘care designed to give supportive care to people in the final phase of a terminal illness and focus on comfort and quality of life, rather than cure. The goal is to enable patients to be comfortable and free of pain, so they can liver each day as full as possible. Aggressive methods of pain control may be used.’

The philosophy of hospice is to provide support for the patient’s emotional, social and spiritual needs as well as medical symptoms as part of treating the whole person.

Is a hospice a place where you go to die?

There is a common belief that a hospice is where people go to die. That is not true. Patients are admitted to a Hospice for a number of reasons including symptom control, supportive care following treatment e.g. chemotherapy and radiotherapy, respite care for patients with complex needs and for care at end of life.

In hospices generally, the normal stay is two to three weeks, after which many patients return home, with their condition either stabilised or improved.

What Does Palliative Care Mean?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) definition of Palliative Care is as follows:

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual. Palliative care:

  • provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;
  • affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
  • intends neither to hasten nor postpone death;
  • integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;
  • offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death;
  • offers a support system to help the family cope during the patients illness and in their own bereavement;
  • uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated;
  • will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness;
  • is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.

What services are available at Cahercalla Hospice?

To see what services Cahercalla Hospice provides please click here

How can I access services at Cahercalla Hospice?

Referrals are made to Cahercalla Hospice by GPs, hospital doctors or the home care team.

How much will it cost me for treatment?

Hospice care is provided free of charge regardless of the person’s means. The average length of stay is usually 14 days but depends on the individual need. As the hospice is unable to provide long term care each patient is assessed on a case by case basis every 2 weeks and a decision on their longer term care is made by the multi-disciplinary team.

What patients can access the services at Cahercalla Hospice?

Patients who have any advanced, progressive illness with complex specialist palliative care needs are eligible to access Cahercalla Hospice services.

How much does it cost to run Cahercalla Hospice every year?

Cahercalla, a registered charity, offers hospice care free of charge. The cost of running the service estimated at over €750,000 per annum, continues to increase each year as we care for an increasing number of patients. With only part of the running costs being funded by the HSE, we rely on the generosity and goodwill of the local community to raise the necessary funds to allow us to continue caring for those in need of the service. Each year this money is raised in many different ways including membership of our weekly draw, fundraising activities and through donations.

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