Did You Know? — What You Learn About Hospice Care May Surprise You

November often feels like the official launch of the holiday season. Autumn has settled in, and our attention turns to holiday plans, time with family and friends, and gifts. What most people don’t know is that November is also National Hospice Month – a good time to spare a few minutes to learn more about the compassionate care provided to those who might not have the gift of time to celebrate another holiday. At Hospice & Palliative CareCenter, we want people to know where to turn for compassionate, in-home care and hope.

“I wish we had called sooner.” That’s what most families say once they have embraced the support of hospice. Unless you have had a first-hand experience with hospice care, you might not understand the true essence of hospice.

Did you know?

1) Hospice is not about giving up hope. It’s about embracing hope and living longer with exceptional care.  

Facing the physical and emotional challenges of a life-limiting illness is overwhelming. You owe it to yourself to seek every option. Calling hospice does not mean giving up hope — it means letting hope in, for help and support, when you need it most. Our care is designed to help patients live more fully and comfortably — with a team of caregivers that works to ease symptoms and enhance quality of life. It is choosing compassionate care and support so that you can be at home — wherever you call home.

2) Patients and families who choose hospice care live longer and report feeling better, emotionally and physically, almost immediately.

With improved quality of life, hospice patients actually live longer! A study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management showed that patients who choose hospice care live an average of 29 days longer than patients who do not have hospice care.

3) Remarkably, there is rarely any out-of-pocket expense for hospice care.

You have already paid for hospice care. It is an entitlement your tax dollars earn you. Hospice care is most often paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance or donations. Therefore, in addition to easing physical and emotional burdens, using hospice at the end of life can ease financial burdens. The Medicare Hospice Benefit is available to all patients with the Medicare part A benefit.

4) Hospice care is designed to support people for months.

Far too many patients and families say — “We wish we had called sooner.” Hospice care is not simply for patients in the final days or weeks, but rather months. Patients can receive hospice care as soon as a physician predicts that life expectancy is six months or less. Anyone, including family and friends, can make a referral to hospice.

5) Hospice care is provided in your home — wherever you call home.

Our teams of caregivers come to you, making routine visits so that you can remain comfortable in your home with family, friends and familiar surroundings. This includes private homes, assisted living facilities and/or skilled nursing facilities.

Hospice care is not about helping people die. It’s about helping people live well, until the very end — because every moment matters. To learn more about our special care, visit us online at www.HospiceCareCenter.org.