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About Hospice

Hospice and Palliative Care: Planning
Hospice and Palliative Care: Planning When a patient is diagnosed as being terminally ill, it means the illness cannot be cured and he or she is going to die of their illness. Death is not a subject that many people like to talk about. When diagnosed with a terminal illness, some people are able and willing to talk about their impending death while others are not. Likewise, family and friends may be more open or less open to talking about these issues. Talking with healthcare providers and spiritual lea...
Hospice and Palliative Care: Signs and Symptoms of Approaching Death
Hospice and Palliative Care: Signs and Symptoms of Approaching Death Your hospice team's goal is to help prepare you for some of the things that might occur close to the time of death of your loved one. Although we can never predict exactly when a terminally ill person will die, we know when the time is getting close, by a combination of signs and symptoms. Not all of these signs will appear at the same time, and some may never appear at all. All of the signs described are ways the body prepares itself ...
Hospice or Palliative Care: Management
Hospice or Palliative Care: Management Hospice care Many people consider hospice to be a place where people go to die. However, hospice (or palliative care) is not a place, but a special type of care for terminally ill patients and their families. Terminally ill means that the patient's illness cannot be cured and he or she is going to die from the illness. Therefore, hospice care is not meant to cure the patient, but to provide comfort for him or her. Hospice caregivers often provide this type of care ...
Hospice Care Overview
Hospice Care Overview What is hospice care? The word "hospice" means "a place of shelter." Today, the "place of shelter" is not so much a physical location as it is a service that helps a patient who is terminally ill to die with dignity and peace. Hospice care is also the type of care provided to support a terminally ill patient at home or wherever he or she lives. Care usually involves relieving troublesome symptoms and providing psychological and social support for the patient and family. The goal of...
Hospices Offer Comfort at Life's End
Hospices Offer Comfort at Life's End It's a subject no one wants to think about, but for each of us, our lives must come to an end. As medical progress helps us to live longer, the end can linger, draining patients and loved ones alike. So, more and more people are turning to hospice care. Hospice is not just for the elderly or cancer patients. Children receive hospice care, as do patients with degenerative diseases like Lou Gehrig's disease, Parkinson's disease, and HIV. This holistic approach to the e...
Types of Hospice Care Services
Types of Hospice Care Services What are the different types of hospice care services? Hospice care, unlike home health care, provides treatment to manage pain and symptoms associated with a terminal illness. In addition, hospice care gives support--emotionally, spiritually, and socially to the patient and the family. The goal of hospice is to provide comfort and care, not "cure" the illness or disease, like home health care. Pain and symptom control are the objectives of all hospice services. The goal o...
Hospice Care Statistics
Hospice Care Statistics According to the latest statistics available from the Hospice Association of America and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization: More than 5,000 hospices participate in the Medicare program in the U.S. From the first program that opened in 1974, hospice programs continue to grow and are located in all 50 states. In 2009, an estimated 1.56 million people received hospice services. Recent statistics also indicate that around 42 percent of all deaths in the U.S. occur...
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Using Hospice Care

Compassionate Drug Use
Compassionate Drug Use What is compassionate drug use? Compassionate drug use is the use of an investigational medicine when you are seriously ill but not enrolled in a clinical trial. Investigational medicines are in the process of being studied but have not yet been approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration. Normally, investigational medicines undergo strict testing through many stages of clinical trials before they are available to the public. They are tested for safety, side...
Patient Rights
Patient Rights What are a patient's rights when receiving care? If you are unhappy with the home health or hospice care you are receiving, you should take the following steps: Notify the home care provider's chief supervisor or administrator. Notify a state health department or Medicare representative. Notify the Better Business Bureau. Rights for home healthcare patients In addition, federal law requires that all individuals receiving home care services be informed of their rights as patients. Accordin...
Paying for Home Health and Hospice Care
Paying for Home Health and Hospice Care Home healthcare services may be paid for directly by the patient or family, through private insurance coverage, or through other sources. Many hospice care programs are given to the patient regardless of the patient's ability to pay. Most costs for hospice are covered by Medicare. Always check with your insurance provider regarding terms of coverage. The following are sources of payment for home healthcare services: Self-pay. If a patient does not meet the require...
Choosing a Provider
Choosing a Provider Finding appropriate home health and hospice care providers requires some research. You will need to talk with your health care provider to evaluate your home health or hospice care needs. When looking for a provider, consider the following: Quality of care Availability of services Personnel training and expertise Payer coverage Evaluating the quality of a provider When evaluating the quality of a provider, you may encounter the following terms: Licensure. Some states require provider...
Types of Home Health and Hospice Care Providers
Types of Home Health and Hospice Care Providers Who provides home health and hospice care services? Home health and hospice care can be provided by many different types of organizations, agencies, companies, and individuals. Choosing the service that is right for your family requires some research. Some of the more common types of providers are: Home health agencies. More than 12 million individuals receive care from more than 33,000 providers in home health care in the U.S. today. Some home health care...
Planning for End of Life
Planning for End-of-Life No one likes to think about the end-of-life, let alone consider questions about how one's final days will be spent. It's important to remember that we have medical choices that weren't available even 50 years ago. Planning for the end of life makes sense for everyone, regardless of health or life circumstances. Thinking it through It's always best to make important decisions without pressure. You need to understand your options and take time to consider what will help you reach ...