“You matter because you are you. You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but to live until you die.”
-Dame Cicely Mary Saunders
Founder of the modern day hospice movement.
Hospice care is end-of-life care provided by a team of health care professionals and volunteers. Hospice care provides expert pain management, symptom control, personal care, psychosocial support and spiritual support to patients and families when a cure is not possible. All the necessary medicines and equipment needed to keep a patient comfortable can be brought right to the home, which is where most people would like to be if at all possible. The focus of Hospice relies on the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our loved ones will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. Hospice makes this happen.
Things to Know:
- Hospice provides help and support 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week to the patient and family.
- Hospice provides pain and symptom comfort care rather than curative treatments.
- Hospice treats the person, not the disease.
- Hospice care is provided wherever the patient may be: in their own home, a family member's home, a nursing home, an assisted living facility, a board and care, and other facilities.
- Family Hospice Care accepts Medicare, Medi-Cal, private insurance, and other forms of reimbursement for Hospice care for patients who meet certain criteria. Since Family Hospice Care accepts Medicare and Medi-Cal as 100% coverage for its services, there are no out-of-pocket expenses for patients and/or their families for services related to the terminal diagnosis.
- The Hospice admission process involves:
- Referral from your attending physician who makes the recommendation to Hospice.
- Terminal condition with a life expectancy of six months or less, if the illness runs its normal course.
- Agreement to follow the plan of care established and refined by you, your family, the physician, and the Hospice team.
- Agree to palliation (control) of symptoms and not cure of illness.
- Live within the geographic area served by the Hospice.
- Have a place of residence (home, skilled nursing or residential care facility) which is a safe environment for patient, caregiver, and Hospice staff.
- Have a realistic plan for the provision of primary caregivers on a 24-hour basis when needed.
- Hospice is a choice and the patient may leave Hospice care at any time if desired.