What is Hospice Care?
Hospice care is palliative care for terminally
ill patients-people who can no longer benefit from curative
treatments and who have a limited life
The Medicare hospice benefit is available
for patients for whom life expectancy is
believed to be six months or less. Many health
insurers follow this guideline. We encourage you
to speak with your physician about the likely
course of your illness to explore whether you
qualify for hospice care.
The goal of hospice is to enable patients
to continue an alert, pain-free life and to manage
other symptoms so they may enjoy high quality relationships with loved
ones as they prepare for death.
the person rather than the disease
quality rather than length of life
provides family -centered care and involves the
patient and the family making decisions
may be contracted 27 hours a day, 7 days
a week with visits as needed
Hospice care can be given in the patient's home, a
hospital, nursing home, or private hospice facility. Most
hospice care in the United States is given in
the home, with a family member or members serving as the
main hands-on caregiver. (source: American Cancer Society)
The most important part of hospice care is that patients
and families are given support and choices--choices about the kind of care
they want and choices about where they would like
to get that care.
For more information visit
the Maine Hospice Council. and the National
Hospice and Palliative Care