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Thank you all for all of the great care you gave my husband. You all were there when we needed you. I couldn't have asked for better care for both of us. Thank you very much!

Hospice vs. Home Health

Hospice is a philosophy of caring for the terminally ill. The philosophy holds that end-of-life care should emphasize quality of life. Hospice is about the living that goes on during the time between the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness and death.

Hospice is all-inclusive care:

The object of hospice care is to treat the whole person, not the disease. It is family-centered care that addresses the physical, spiritual, emotional, and practical needs of a patient with a life-threatening illness. An interdisciplinary team of health care professionals works with the patient and family to design and implement a plan of care unique to each patient. In addition to the care provided by the hospice team, hospice provides medications, services, and equipment directly related to the terminal illness. Hospice care does not end with the patient’s death; rather, it continues with at least 13 months of bereavement counseling for the family and other loved ones.

Hospice cares for people where they live, whether at home or a nursing facility.

Too many Americans still die alone or in pain. Too many endure costly and ineffective treatments. Unfortunately they are being referred to hospice care too late, or not at all.

Americans are aging.

Today, there are nearly 40 million seniors in the U.S. In the next 30 years, that number is expected to double, as baby boomers reach age 65. In light of end-of-life discussions taking place in the media, online, and in other arenas, these boomers will likely place high importance on dying well, just as they emphasized living well. Hospice provides the quality care that allows people to live well at the end of life.

Hospice care is what Americans want.

National Hospice Foundation research shows that the top four services Americans feel are most important for a loved one who has less than six months to live are:

  • Someone to be sure that the patient's wishes are enforced with the goal of rehabilitation;
  • Choice among the types of services the patient can receive;
  • Pain control tailored to the patient's wishes; and
  • Emotional support for the patient and family.

Hospice: The model for quality, compassionate care

Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care at the end-of-life, hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes. Support is extended to the patient's loved ones, as well.

At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us should be able to die pain-free with dignity, and that our families receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.

Many patients experience pain and other distressing symptoms as illness progresses. Hospice staff receive special training to effectively anticipate, assess, treat, and prevent all types of physical symptoms that cause discomfort and distress.

Hospice care adds quality and value.

A recently released government study recognizes that hospice care improves the quality of end-of-life care provided to nursing facility residents. The hope is that the Medicare Hospice Benefit will be expanded to ensure access to hospice services by all terminally ill Americans whether they are in nursing homes, their own homes, freestanding hospice facilities, or in hospitals.

Although there are inpatient hospice facilities and some hospice are is provided in hospitals or nursing homes, the vast majority of hospice patients are cared for in their home. Today, 94.5 percent of hospice days of care are provided at the patient’s residence, whether home, nursing home, or assisted living facility.