Hospice care is usually not an option if your loved ones are terminally ill. It’s generally assumed that hospice care is for the end-stage cancer patients. This type of care is for anyone who is at the end stage of a life-ending illness.  

Medicare's Hospice Benefit in California

Illnesses Covered By Hospice Care?

Hospice specializes in caring for terminally ill patients suffering from the following diseases: 

The patient suffering from any of the above-mentioned diseases are usually at the last stage. They receive specialized care by a team of trained health-care professionals to maximize their comfort. Hospice care is not aimed at treating the underlying illness, in fact, the care provided to the patients targets their pain and symptoms of the disease. Their physical, social, psychological, and spiritual needs are addressed. 

The focus of hospice care is not to cure the underlying disease, but to provide the highest quality of life possible to the patient for the time they have left. This service is for terminally ill patients who have 6 months or less to live. The doctor of the person must certify that the condition of the patient is life-limiting. 

Enrolling in hospice care ensures the patient lives a better and fuller life. In some cases, patients outlive the timeline provided to them by the doctor. Therefore, hospice care does not mean you are giving up on life. This kind of care decreases the burden of the patient’s family. They don’t have to go through a complicated process of grief. 

The patient does not have to remain in the hospice facility for an extended time period. If they want private care, it can be provided to them at home. Likewise, if the primary caregiver of the patient needs a break, they can get respite care. 

Eligibility Requirements for Hospice Care 

The history of hospice care 

The concept of hospice care started in the middle ages to set hospices as a resting place for pilgrims and travelers. By the end of the 19th century, hospice care facilities were designated to care for the dying. Nurses, social workers, and physicians showed their commitment towards patient-centered care. The first hospice care was opened in Ireland and then in England. Ever since the hospice program was spread across most of the developed countries across the world. 

Hospice services were designed to provide palliative care to patients who have less time left. The Medicare hospice benefit was authorized under the Medicare program to cover the cost of hospice care.

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How to select a hospice care program?

To figure out which hospice program is best for your loved one, talk to the doctor, nurses, counselors or social workers involved in the program. You can also contact the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization for further assistance. 

Before you choose a hospice program, there are some questions that will help you evaluate your options:

If your loved ones are suffering from any of these above mentioned illnesses, talk to their doctor about hospice care as soon as you can.