Hospice care is for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury. In order to receive the hospice package of benefits from Medicare, a doctor must attest to a life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice involves a team-oriented approach that follows a patient’s needs and wishes. Included with this is expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support. At the center of hospice and palliative care is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so.
Support is provided to the patient’s loved ones as well. Some home care and most medications and durable medical equipment are also covered. Hospice staff is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but only provide direct care for a few hours a day.