What is hospice?

Hospice care is for people who are nearing the end of life. Hospice care services are provided by a team of health care professionals who maximize comfort for a person who is terminally ill by reducing pain and addressing physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. To help families, hospice care also provides counseling, respite care and practical support.

Unlike other medical care, the focus of hospice care isn't to cure the underlying disease. The goal of hospice care is to support the highest quality of life possible for whatever time remains.

Who can benefit from hospice care?

Hospice care is for a terminally ill person who's expected to have six months or less to live. This doesn't mean that hospice care will be provided only for six months, however. Hospice care can be provided for as long as the person's doctor and hospice care team certify that the condition remains life-limiting.

Hospice care is not just for individuals who have cancer. Home Town Health Care Hospice cares for a range of patients with end-of-life illness. This includes, but is not limited to stroke, congestive heart failure, Alzheimer’s disease, liver disease, kidney disease, and cancer. Please call us at 1-800-767-2304 to discuss your individual situation.

Taking the time to enroll in hospice care early helps patients live better and live longer. Hospice care decreases the burden on the family, decreases the family's likelihood of having a complicated bereavement and prepares family members for their loved one's death.

Hospice patient with home nurse

Where is hospice care provided?

Most hospice care is provided in the home with a family member typically serving as the primary caregiver. However, hospice care is also available at hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and dedicated hospice facilities.

Keep in mind that no matter where hospice care is provided, sometimes it's necessary to be admitted to a hospital. If a symptom can't be adequately managed by the hospice care team while in a home setting, a hospital stay might be needed.