What is Hospice Care?

Hospice care is a type of healthcare that focuses on reducing the pain and symptoms of terminally ill patients. Hospice care is about care, comfort, and improving the quality of life. It does not focus on curing the disease. Hospice neither shortens or prolongs a patients lifespan. Although there have been some studies that show hospice patients live longer than non hospice patients.

Hospice care assists the patient with their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. This is done through an interdisciplinary team of professionals. Among the team members are physicians, nurses, therapists, nutritionists, counselors, home health aides, and volunteers. Each one of these team members assists the patient and the family through the tough times.

Patient with family receiving hospice care in La Puente, CA

It is the goal of hospice to provide the same type of care you will receive at a hospital, but at home. To do this hospice delivers medications, medical equipment (such as wheelchairs, oxygen, hospital beds), and medical supplies (such as bedpans, lotions, incontinence supplies). Everything that is needed to manage the terminal illness will be delivered the same day.

Hospice is an approach to care, in that it can be provided in a variety of settings. Hospice care can be provided at home, assisted living, nursing facility, hospital, hospice center. Hospice at home is normally provided with a caregiver, who normally is a family member. If a caregiver can not be found then you have two options. First which is hiring a caregiver through a home care agency and second is being placed at a skilled nursing facility.

How to Qualify for Hospice Care

  • Must have Medicare Part A, Medicaid, or private insurance
  • Your primary care physician needs to certify that you have a terminal illness with a prognosis of 6 months or less
  • Must get services through a Medicare certified provider
  • Has to understand that the patient must forgo curative treatment

Hospice Care Services

  • Pain and symptom control
  • Medications
  • Medical equipment
  • Medical supplies
  • Home care and inpatient hospice care
  • Spiritual care
  • Family meetings
  • Coordination of care
  • Respite Care
  • Bereavement care