How We Help

Hospice provides compassionate care to people who are in the last six months of their life, and offers support to their family members.

Comfort and Caring

The goal of the hospice team is to help a patient remain as comfortable, pain-free and alert as possible, in a familiar environment close to family and friends.

Hospice care is often provided in the home. There are also in-residence hospice programs in hospitals, independent hospice centers, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities. The cost of hospice care is covered under Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans, and by health maintenance organizations and other managed care programs.

Services Provided

The range of hospice services includes:

  • Basic medical care, with a focus on pain relief and symptom control.
  • Delivering medical supplies and equipment to the home.
  • Respite care to give the family a break from their caregiving duties.
  • Assistance with meal preparation, delivery of medications, and other errands.
  • Help with psychological, emotional and spiritual issues related to death.
  • Counseling and support for the family before and after the death.

Staying at Home

Although 80 percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, currently only 20 percent actually do. About 60 percent die in hospitals and 20 percent in nursing homes. With the support of hospice care, more people will be able to remain at home, or return home from a hospital or other care facility at the end of their life.

The Hospice Team

The hospice team can include a doctor, nurses, social workers, home health aides, and trained volunteers from the community. Depending upon the needs of the patient, there may also be support from spiritual advisors, psychologists or psychiatrists, nursing assistants, pharmacists, music therapists, and respiratory, physical or occupational therapists.

Related Issues
Durable power of attorney for healthcare
Health insurance
Healthcare advance directive
Long-term care insurance