What is Hospice?

Philosophy of Care

In hospice, we believe that patient comfort and quality of life are as important as curing a disease or prolonging life.

In case of a life-limiting condition, we have found that hospice care is a good option because it offers patients the opportunity to stay home and make their own decisions about how they would like to spend their days. 
Practical Considerations

Day-today chores of life can become overwhelming for family caregivers. Teaching, assistance, and respite are all available through the hospice team. 

Most hospice patients use the Medicare benefit that minimizes out-of-pocket medications, equipment, and supplies. Visits by all members of the hospice team are covered completely by the Medicare benefit. 

No person is denied hospice services because of inability to pay.
Hospice Care for the Living

Using hospice does not mean "giving up". The hospice team will care for people living
with a disease that cannot be cured. Historically, hospice has focused on care of those with cancer.

Increasingly, however, hospice is being utilized for patients with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Dimentia, failure to thrive (general debility with weight loss) and advanced lung, heart, liver, and kidney disease

What is Hospice?
Hospice is a special kind of care for dying people, their families, and their caregivers that:

  • Treats the physical needs of patients and thier emotional and spiritual needs
  • Takes place in the patient's home or in a home-like setting
  • Concentrates on making patients as free of pain and as comfortable as they want to be so they can make the most of the time that remains to them
  • Considers helping family members an essential part of its mission
  • Believes the quality of life to be as important as the length of life.

Hospice patients are living with a wide range of diagnoses including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, and lung disease. However, regardless of a patient's condition, or age; hospices open their doors and their hearts to all persons diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses.

Many surviving family members say, "I do not know what I would have done without hospice." Many credit it with helping to make their final days with their loved ones warm and memorable.

o job is too big or too small for the hospice team; it helps in every way it can
This may include:

  • Pain relief through medication
  • Coordination of necessary medical equipment
  • "Being there", to let the patient know he/she is not alone
  • Talking openly about feelings
  • Assisting with household chores and helping to put financial matters in order
  • Providing favorite foods or music
  • Joining in favorite past times

It Comes Down to This.. 
A sensitive discussion about hospice offers families choices at important life stages. Delaying these discussions may deprive patients and their families of the full benefits of hospice- comprehensive care at home, emotional support, spiritual resolution and financial protection. 

" Calling hospice is not "giving up".. it's the opposite. For [our loved one], it meant a high quality of life and care from loving, commited, and thoughtful professionals. For that we are grateful. "
A surviving mother

Most people do not want to die in pain or alone in hospitals, hooked up to machines and cut off from family and friends and everything that's familiar. They would prefer to be at home... alert and free of pain... among the people and things they love. Hospice is dedicated to making this happen.

Consider hospice now, so that all possibilities are clear and open to you- before you are faced with a crisis

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