What is hospice?
July 12th, 2020
Hospice is specialized type of care for those facing a life-limiting illness, their families and their caregivers. Hospice care addresses the individual’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs with a focus on helping individuals to live as fully and comfortably as possible. Services may be delivered in an individual’s home, in freestanding hospice centers, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Generally, the hospice interdisciplinary staff make regular visits to assess needs, provide limited care and other services. Most hospices provide on-call support 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Hospice care is only available to those individuals with a prognosis of 6-months or less to live who choose to stop disease treatment.
All hospices are not created equal. Services may differ from one hospice program to another. Due diligence is necessary. Consumers should ask questions, be well-informed about provided services, insurance coverage and be certain that the hospice program can fully address the patient and family’s needs before enrolling in a hospice program.
Where available, individuals may benefit from palliative care. Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort. However, palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and continue through disease treatment.