Hospice care is a concept of care that provides symptom, pain management and palliative care to those with a life-limiting illness.
Hospice is located anywhere you call home, private residence, assisted living, group home, etc. Hospice treats not just the body, but the whole person, providing spiritual, social, and emotional support.
Anyone can make a referral to hospice, not just a doctor. Any person who has been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness (with a projected life expectancy of 6 months or less) may qualify for hospice services, and there are no age or disease restrictions.
There are many common misconceptions when it comes to hospice, such as: hospice is a place where people go to pass away, hospice patients are “doped up” on pain medications, or only people with cancer can receive hospice care. However, none of these are truths. Statistics show that a person receiving hospice support can live up to 30 days longer than with just conventional care, and experience a higher quality of life.
Hospice Care is an entitlement under Medicare Part A, with services covered 100%. Medicaid, Commercial insurances and VA benefits also cover services.
At some point a decision may have to be made – not about ceasing all care, but about weighing the benefits of a certain course of treatment against the burdens of that treatment. What matters most may not be more time, but the ability to more fully enjoy the time we have with those we love.