What is Hospice?
Hospice is a philosophy of care that recognizes death as the final stage of life and seeks to enable patients to continue an alert, pain-free life and to manage other symptoms so that their last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones.
Hospice affirms life and does not hasten or postpone death. Hospice care treats the person rather than the disease; it highlights quality rather than length of life. It provides family-centered care, involving the patient and family in the decision-making process. Care is provided for the patient and family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Hospice care can be given in the patient's home, hospital, nursing home, or private hospice facility. Hospice is not a place, it is a service.
What Services are Provided Under Hospice?
Our hospice services focus on all aspects of a patient's well-being, including physical, emotional, social, and spiritual care, guided by a highly skilled team that includes nurses, social workers, and chaplains. This team of professionals takes the holistic approach of providing care, by keeping the patient comfortable physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
When is Hospice Care Appropriate?
Any disease with a prognosis of 6 months or less, is qualified to receive hospice services. We care for and have expertise in the care of patients with many life-limiting illnesses and conditions, including but not limited to:
- Adult Failure to Thrive
- Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia
- ALS, also known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease"
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Heart Disease
- Liver Disease
- Renal or Respiratory/Pulmonary Disease (end stage)
- Stroke/CVA (Cerebral Vascular Accident)
How to Pay for Hospice Services?
Most people who use hospice care are over age 65 and are entitled to the Medicare Hospice Benefit. This benefit covers virtually all hospice services and requires little, if any, out-of-pocket costs. This means that there are no financial burdens incurred by the family, in sharp contrast to the huge financial expenses at the end of life which are incurred when hospice is not used. Hospice services are also provided by Medicaid and most insurance companies.
Medicaid is an assistance program funded jointly by the federal and state governments and administered by individual states. Medicaid sends payments directly to your health care providers.