Facts About Hospice

Many people do not know a lot about hospice care until they have a need for it. It is natural to have a lot of questions and want to get as much information as possible when making decisions for yourself or a loved one in the final stage of life. Below are some important facts about hospice. These and the frequently asked questions included on this website are a good place to start to find information about hospice.

Hospice is not a place
The term “hospice” refers to end-of-life care services that are provided by a hospice team. The team can provide these services to the individual wherever he or she calls home.

Hospice care is for everyone
Hospice care is available for anyone of any age with a life-limiting illness. For example, hospice can be appropriate for:

  • A baby born with a serious condition that will not allow him or her to live more than days, weeks, or months;
  • A 42-year old in end stages of a terminal illness, like Lou Gehrig’s or end-stage kidney failure;
  • A 64-year old with congestive heart failure.

Hospice care treats more than physical pain.
Hospice care does treat physical pain, but that’s just the beginning. The hospice team also provides a variety of services to help the individual live as well as possible in their final months. Some examples include grief counseling, spiritual support, assistance with activities of daily living, and educating the family on care techniques.

Choosing hospice care does not mean you or your loved one is giving up.
Hospice care encourages the individual and their family to actively participate in decisions involving their care. Early enrollment in hospice care allows people to take full advantage of the variety of Hospice Services, which encourages them to choose how they want to live their life in the final months.

Hospice care is not just for individuals who have only a few days to live.
Individuals can enroll in hospice care when their doctor and the hospice medical director believe they have a life-limiting illness. This means that individuals may benefit from hospice services that help them live more comfortably for several months or more.

Individuals can continue to work with their personal doctor.
The hospice team works closely with the individual’s doctor to meet the individual’s needs.

Individuals do not need to have DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order to receive hospice care.
An individual can receive hospice care without agreeing to a DNR Order.

Individuals can still go to the hospital while receiving hospice care.
If hospitalization is needed for the management of symptoms or care, the hospice team will assist in making arrangements for this transfer.