Hospice

About Hospice

Hospice is a program in which an interdisciplinary team of caregivers provides comfort, support and dignity to terminally ill people when medical treatment is no longer expected to cure the disease or prolong life. A hospice team gives palliative care and emotional and spiritual support to people who are close to the end of life and are not likely to live for more than 6 months.
Most people say they want to die at home – seven out of 10 according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll. Many Americans end up dying in facilities such as hospitals or nursing homes and receiving care that is not consistent with their wishes. When appropriate for the individual, hospice can help those who wish to die at home to do so with the kind of care that addresses their symptoms and makes them more comfortable during the dying process.

Hospice is an approach to care, so it is not tied to a specific place. It can be provided wherever the person resides, most often at home, but also at a hospice center, hospital, or nursing home. It is voluntary and also involves and supports the individual’s family and/or loved ones.

When one is accepted for enrollment in a Medicare certified hospice agency, Medicare will cover 100% of all of the associated costs for medical care, nursing visits, social work services, durable medical equipment, medications and much more. Hospice enrollment means that curative treatment for the underlying medical condition will be discontinued, although care for other conditions is available. 

It’s important to interview and choose a hospice that respects your priorities and beliefs, and will honor your end-of-life care choices. Some hospices support the full range of end-of-life options such as palliative sedation, voluntary stopping eating and drinking (VSED) and medical aid in dying, while others may not.

 

Hospice can be provided wherever the person resides, most often at home, but also at a hospice center, hospital, or nursing home. 

If you or your loved one is considering hospice, check out this resource offered by our national partner Compassion & Choices before you select an agency:

RESOURCES:

Hospice Foundation of America’s goal is to provide leadership in the development and application of hospice and its philosophy of care with the goal of enhancing the U.S. health care system and the role of hospice within it.  Learn More

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is the largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States. The organization is committed to improving end-of-life care and expanding access to hospice care with the goal of profoundly enhancing quality of life for people dying in America and their loved ones. Learn More

New Mexico Association for Home & Hospice Care serves its membership through advocacy, networking, education and communication by promoting success and best practices for home care, hospice and related home health support services. Learn More