Hospice is a special care that is designed to provide comfort and support to patients with a terminal illness and life expectancy of 6 months or less. The care provides services in a patient's home, hospice center, nursing home or in a hospital.
Hospice is designed to improve the quality of the patient's last few days with an emphasis on controlling the patient's pain and discomfort. The goal of hospice care is to provide peace, comfort, and dignity to people who are terminally ill.
Hospice patients are provided with a special level of professional care, including pain management, nursing, physician, therapy, and social work services. Hospice also offers bereavement and counseling services for patients and their families as well as other support services before and after a patient's death.
Although hospice care does not provide 24-hour nursing care, hospice services are available on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Usually a Hospice Care team includes, the terminally ill patient and the family, physician, therapists, nurses, home health aides, social worker, priest or spiritual counselor and other volunteers who are highly trained to perform hospice services.
A hospice staff is usually present and involved as death approaches as they can help the patient and their families understand and cope with the things that are happening when the person is dying.
Generally, Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance companies cover the costs related to hospice care for as long as the patient meets the criteria for eligibility. However, it is recommended that you contact your plan administrator or insurance company to check for Hospice Care coverage and eligibility.
Hospice is usually associated with Assisted Living, Nursing Homes, Hospitals, In-Home Care or Home Hospice and End of life care.