When medical care cannot offer a cure, hospice provides care, comfort and support for persons with life-limiting conditions as well as their families. The hospice team works to make the person comfortable and relieve their symptoms and pain for the entire length of their illness. To receive hospice, physicians must be willing to state that death can be expected within 6 months if the disease follows its normal course. This does not mean that care will only be provided for 6 months; hospice can be provided as long as the person’s physician and hospice team certifies that their condition remains life limiting. Hospice care is a family-centered team approach that includes, a doctor, nurse, social worker, counselor, chaplain, home health aide and trained volunteers. They work together focusing on the dying person’s needs—physical, psychological, social and spiritual. The goal is to help keep the person as pain and symptom-free as possible while offering spiritual and supportive counseling to the patient and family members. Hospice is covered by Medicare and most private insurers. It is a comprehensive benefit that includes visits by all team members, medications related to the admitting diagnosis, equipment and supplies, and more.

How to Choose a Hospice Provider

Also: ask how many hours of Home Health Aide are provided each day/week

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