Hospice and Palliative Care

What is Hospice?

Hospice focuses on providing comfort and care that maintains the highest quality of life for someone who is dying. Your doctor is required to certify that you have a terminal illness that is progressing and expected to end your life within 6 months or less.

  • Hospice is for any terminal illness for example-cardiac disease, dementia, cancer, ALS, respiratory disease, etc
  • Family members are the primary caretakers for you at home.
  • Hospice can be provided where you are -at home, in an assisted living facility or nursing home, or hospital.
  • The Hospice team will be available oncall 24/7.
  • Your Hospice medical team will manage all of your healthcare needs including health problems that are not related to your terminal illness.
    • For example-If you are on Hospice for cardiac disease and break your leg you would contact your Hospice team who would arrange treatment for your broken leg.
  • You can choose to end Hospice care at any time.
  • You can remain on Hospice longer than 6 months if your illness continues to make your health decline.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care, sometimes called Comfort care, provides care and treatment for the symptoms and side effects of an illness. Your illness does not need to be a terminal illness for you to receive Palliative care.

  • You may still receive treatment (chemotherapy, radiation etc) for your illness.
  • Palliative care provides medication and other services to relieve pain, nausea, fatigue and other symptoms.
  • You do not need your doctor to certify you have 6 months or less to live.
  • The Palliative care team can guide you to where to find help for preparing Advanced Directives, financial counseling and legal advice

 Who pays for Hospice and Palliative Care?

Many private insurance companies cover Hospice and Palliative care services. Medicare Hospice coverage is also available. Each state determines what Medicaid Hospice benefit coverage is available.

Why Should I Care?

We are all going to die one day.

Hospice and Palliative care helps the end of our life be

as comfortable and pain free as possible.