Hospice is a popular medical program for individuals who are battling a terminal illness and are, likely, within the last 6 months of life. Hospice provides palliative care, focusing on pain relief, not curing illness. It recognizes that there is no cure, but that there is no reason to die in pain. Hospice also helps the patient and the family cope with approaching death. Take a look at the following information to better understand what services are offered through hospice care. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to discuss your hospice care options, meet with an estate planning – elder law attorney.
Each hospice care program likely has differences, but they all offer many of the same services. Some of these services include the following:
- Daily medical and nursing care
- Pain management
- Assistance with daily needs, such as cleaning, cooking, bathing, and dressing
- Counseling services for the patient and his or her family members
- Spiritual guidance
- Respite care so that family caretakers can take a break
- Bereavement counseling and support groups
Hospice is paid for by Medicare and private medical insurers so long as a medical doctor states that your loved one is likely to die within the next 6 months. If your loved one lives longer, hospice will continue; but to qualify, the doctor must make the 6 month statement.
Hospice can be provided at home or in a medical unit; it best ensures that your loved one will live a pain-free and comfortable end of life and that you and your family receive the guidance and counseling that is needed to stay strong throughout this challenge.
John R. Vermillion & Associates, LLC is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.