Frequently Asked Questions About Hospice
What is Hospice?
A special KIND OF CARE that helps people live with dignity, comfort and peace at the end-of-life.
What does Hospice do?
- Provides compassionate care for people with a terminal illness until death occurs
- Focuses on relieving symptoms and increasing comfort of the person who is dying
- Assists family and loved ones as well as the patient
- Assures that wishes for end-of-life care are honored
What makes Hospice unique?
- Its focus on preventing, treating or eliminating discomfort and pain
- A team of professionals trained in –
Supporting physical, emotional, spiritual and practical needs of all those caring for loved ones at end-of-life
What should I know about Hospice?
- Hospice is NOT a place
- Hospice is wherever you are
- Hospice care is provided in private homes, nursing homes, hospitals, comfort care homes and many other places people call “home”
Who is on the Hospice team?
- Registered Nurse
- Home Health Aide
- Social Worker
- Grief and Bereavement Counselor
Who is eligible for Hospice care?
- Hospice serves patients – and their families – in their last months of life
- Patients who have less than six months to live as determined by their physician and a hospice medical director
Who pays for Hospice?
- Most private insurance companies
- If you or you loved one does not have insurance, some hospices can provide care at little or no cost
What does Hospice cover?
- Doctor visits/services
- Nursing care
- Medical equipment, supplies and drugs for symptom control and pain relief
- Home health aide assistance
- Social work services
- Volunteer support
- Grief and bereavement support to help you and your family
- Physical, speech, and/or occupational therapy, if appropriate
- Short-term care for symptom management in the hospital or inpatient hospice unit
How is Hospice care initiated?
- You or a loved one can call a Hospice Care program or agency that offers this type of care to learn more about starting the process
- Your physician calls a Hospice Care program or agency that offers this type of care and makes a referral for service
- Your physician signs a certificate of terminal illness
- A hospice nurse or social worker meets with you and/or your family members and explains the benefits of hospice
- You or your medical care representative or proxy signs the Benefit Election Form and service begins
Does Hospice do anything to make death come sooner?
- Hospice neither hastens nor postpones dying
- Some patients live longer with Hospice care than they would if they continued aggressive treatment that was not working
- The Hospice Care team provides its presence and specialized knowledge during the last phase of life
Where can I receive Hospice Care?
- At home
- In a nursing home
- In a hospital
- In a special Hospice Unit or Center
- Comfort care homes
What is Palliative Care?
- A medical specialty focused on relief of pain and other debilitating symptoms of serious illnesses
- Is not dependent on a prognosis
- Can be delivered at the same time as the treatment meant to cure you