Who They Are and What They Do…
Hospice is a type of care and a philosophy of care which focuses on reducing the severity of a terminally ill patient’s symptoms. These symptoms can be physical, emotional, spiritual or social in nature. The modern concept of hospice includes palliative care for the incurably ill given in such institutions as hospitals, nursing homes, or assisted livings, but also care provided to those who would rather die in their own homes.
- Only Medicare benefit that includes pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and around the clock access to care and support for loved ones following a death
- Covered by Medicaid and most private insurance plans
- Most of the time the care is delivered at home
- Available to people in home-like hospice residences, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, veterans’ facilities, and hospitals *
Some Hospice companies have their own In-Patient Unit (IPU) or Hospice House where services are provided until end of life.
Basics to Know…
- In 2008, 1.45 million individuals and their families received hospice care *
- Hospice can take the care-giving burden off of the families to allow them to have more time to spend with the dying person
- Most Hospice companies have a Chaplain and may be affiliated with local religious organizations
Hospice companies often have volunteers who visit with their patients to offer support and comfort