Answer: Hospice provides compassionate medical care, pain management and emotional support for patients with serious illnesses.
Question: Where does hospice care take place?
Answer: Two-thirds of the time, hospice care is provided in the place the patient calls “home.” This may be a person’s private residence, a nursing home or a residential facility. Hospice also takes place in freestanding hospice centers, hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Question: Who provides hospice care?
Answer: The patient’s family and a team of hospice professionals provide care. Often, a family member is the primary caregiver and helps make decisions for the terminally ill individual.
Question: How is hospice care delivered?
Answer: The hospice team develops a plan that meets the patient’s unique needs then pays regular visits to provide medical care (pain management, symptom control, emotional support) or other services. Hospice staff is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Question: Who makes up the hospice staff?
Answer: A hospice team can include a patient’s personal physician, hospice physician or medical director, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, bereavement counselors, spiritual counselors, trained volunteers and speech or physical therapists.
Question: What does a hospice center look like?
Answer: Most hospices are freestanding agencies while others are part of a home health agency or nursing home. 20 percent of hospice agencies provide both general inpatient and residential care and reside in a freestanding location or on a hospital campus.