What is hospice / palliative care?
Hospice Care or ‘Specialist Palliative Care’ supports people of all ages with a life-limiting illness, enabling them to achieve the best quality of life possible. The aim is to treat every patient with dignity and respect, helping them to plan for the future, while also supporting families and loved ones.
Palliative Care involves pain management and symptom management and provides clinical, social, emotional and spiritual support.

What is a life-limiting condition?
This is a condition, illness or disease which is progressive and cannot be cured.

What are the benefits of Hospice/Specialist 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
  • Offers a support system to help families during a patient’s illness and in bereavement
  • Uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated
  • To enhance quality of life

Where is Hospice/Specialist Palliative Care provided?
Hospice services vary locally, but you can find out about the service in your area by contacting your local hospice.
We have listed below the variety of ways in which Specialist Palliative Care can be provided;

  • In Hospices (dedicated Specialist Palliative Care in-patient units)
  • In people’s own homes, with Specialist Palliative Homecare nurses working closely with the family doctor and/or Specialist Palliative Care team
  • In general hospitals, by the hospital’s palliative care team
  • In community hospitals and nursing homes the by Specialist Palliative Care teams for further information our contact details are on our Contact page.

How do patients get referred to a hospice?
To be admitted to a hospice or to access hospice home care, a patient needs to be referred by their GP or hospital consultant. A doctor’s referral will always be required before a patient can be admitted to a service.

Can anyone access hospice care?
It depends on the individual case. Each service assesses referred patients on a basis of Specialist Palliative Care need and access can vary depending on location.

Who is referred to hospice care?
Usually someone is referred to Hospice or Palliative Care when their condition, illness or disease cannot be cured. Many different kinds of patients attend Specialist Palliative Care services, but all have a life-limiting condition.
Treatment and care is aimed at helping the patient to live as well as possible, for as long as possible. Some will have months or years to live, others may have only days or weeks.
A patient may spend a short period of time in a Hospice while the best treatment for their symptoms are determined, or for a short period of respite, after which the patient may be able to return home.

Is hospice care expensive?
A notable feature of hospice care is that services are provided free of charge, regardless of the patient’s or their family’s means. Insurance providers may be asked to contribute towards the cost of the care in circumstances where a patient has private medical insurance.


Did you know we have Charity Boxes in various locations around Mullingar?
North Westmeath Hospice
To relieve often, but to comfort always
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