Hospice care is specialized care designed to provide support to you and your loved ones during an advanced illness. The focus is on comfort and quality of life, rather than cure. It involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes.

Hospice care is appropriate when a patient has a terminal illness with a prognosis of six months or less to live if the disease follows its usual course. It is also considered when patients choose to forgo further curative treatments and prefer to focus on palliative care for relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness.

Hospice services typically include pain and symptom management, emotional and spiritual support, provision of medications related to the hospice diagnosis, medical equipment and supplies, support for the patient’s family, and grief counseling. The services are provided by a team of professionals, which may include doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, home health aides, and clergy.

In the United States, hospice care services are widely covered by Medicare under the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medicaid in most states, and most private insurance plans. The hospice staff can help you understand your coverage and any potential out-of-pocket costs.

Yes, hospice care is often provided in the comfort of a patient’s home, but it can also be delivered in hospice facilities, hospitals, and nursing homes, depending on the patient’s specific needs and circumstances.

Choosing hospice does not mean giving up hope but rather redefining it. The focus shifts from hoping for a cure to hoping for a life free from pain and discomfort, for precious time with loved ones, and for a peaceful end.

Absolutely. If a patient’s condition improves and the prognosis extends beyond six months, or if they choose to return to curative treatments, hospice care can be discontinued. Patients have the right to stop hospice care at any time and may resume treatment if they wish to do so.