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Eight Key Points about Hospice that Everyone Should Know

More than 1.2 million people were served by the nation’s hospice programs last year. Yet for every person that received hospice care, it is estimated that another individual would have benefited from the services of hospice but didn’t get this compassionate care at the end of their lives. There are eight key messages about hospice care that everyone, healthcare professionals and consumers alike, should understand.

  1. Hospice is not a place but a special kind of care focusing on relief of pain, symptom control, and spiritual and emotional support. Care goes out to the patient and family caregivers.

  2. The majority of hospice care takes place in the home, where the person can be surrounded by family and familiar settings. Yet inpatient services are available if symptoms cannot be properly attended to at home.

  3. Hospice costs are covered by Medicare, Medicaid in most states, and by most insurance programs and HMOs.

  4. The expenses of all medicines related to the life-limiting illness are covered under the Medicare Hospice Benefit.

  5. Hospice is not about giving up but instead focuses on quality of life making the wishes of the patient and family caregivers a priority.

  6. Hospice provides support and caregiving training to family members and loved ones in the home.

  7. Bereavement support is available to families for a year after the death of their loved one.

  8. The most common statement made by families who chose hospice for their loved one is, we wish we had known about hospice sooner.

If you are not facing decisions about care at the end of life for yourself or a family member, it’s likely that a close friend, neighbor or coworker is struggling with these difficult issues.

If you would like to visit with someone regarding someone facing a life-limiting illness, BSA Hospice of the Southwest will connect you with staff, volunteers, and/or family members we’ve served who can share with you the many benefits of our care.