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Hospice: Living Life to the Fullest Until the Very End

By Howard C. Stross
June 16, 2014

There are many misconceptions about hospice care. Many people incorrectly believe that choosing hospice care is like giving up instead of fighting to keep living. Instead, hospice care helps patients and families live as fully as possible despite a life-limiting illness.

Defining Hospice Care

Hospice is a specialized kind of care available to anyone certified by a physician to be terminally ill, with a prognosis of six months or less if the disease takes a typical course. Hospice is not a place. Services can be provided to a person in their home or in a home-like setting. Hospice care concentrates on quality of life and making patients as free of pain and as comfortable as they want to be so they can make the most of the time that remains.

“It’s natural to avoid discussions about the end-of-life.  It is a difficult and complicated topic.  Although thinking about death can be uncomfortable, the hospice community’s mission is to create the most positive end-of-life experience possible: free from pain, comfortable at home or in a home-like setting, surrounded by loved ones.” – Moments of Life campaign, Nat’l Hospice & Palliative Care Organization

Moments of Life Made Possible by Hospice

In honor of the 40th anniversary of hospice care in the United States, a new website has been created to help educate the public about hospice care. The site is called Moments of Life, and is part of a new campaign to show, through video clips and articles, the kinds of experiences people are able to have by including hospice in their end of life plans.

In this clip, a World War II veteran was able to fly to Washington, D.C. with his son for an Honor Flight:

Click here to watch other experiences that have been made possible with hospice care.

Hospice Payment Options

Insurance coverage for hospice services is widely available. It is provided by Medicare nationwide, by Medicaid in most states, and by most private health insurance policies. To be sure of coverage, families should check with their health insurance provider. In addition, some hospices will provide care for those who cannot pay, using money raised from the community or from memorial or foundation gifts.

Choosing a Hospice

One of the best ways to choose a hospice is to ask questions. A local hospice provider should be more than willing to help you understand their services and how they might be appropriate for your specific situation.

This article is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice.

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