Hospice care is an insurance benefit covering therapies that maintain or improve quality of life for a patient with a disease that will not be cured.
Patients can be on hospice care if they are expected to live less than six months. This assessment must be repeated every six months. Patients are either certified again or taken off hospice care if their condition improves.
Hospice can be started in many settings depending on severity of illness, degree of family support, money concerns, and what the patient prefers.
The team includes physicians, nurses, social workers, home health aides, spiritual advisers, therapists (physical, occupational, and speech), dietitians, and volunteers to help ensure a patient is comfortable and prepared for the end of life, striving to achieve a “good death.”