Getting Comfortable with the “H” Word: Hospice - Heart 'n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC

Getting Comfortable with the “H” Word: Hospice

At Heart ‘n Home Hospice, our mission is to affirm life in those we serve. Hospice is a unique, person-centered end-of-life care with extreme focus on the “life” piece. What you need to know is hospice is about living, not dying. Some patients receive hospice care for years – not just months or days. Hospice care is a free benefit that helps patients with comfort and support in advanced stages of an illness. It is also a benefit for caregivers and family. Under hospice care, clinical staff come to you rather than you having to go into the doctor’s office or hospital to get care. This helps avoid ER visits and hospital readmissions. As well as eases the transportation arrangements for family. Most importantly, it saves energy so patients can use that energy how they would like to, for example, playing a game with their grandchild or walking outside for some fresh air.

Many think that hospice care is for someone who is expected to die within a few months. That is not true. In fact, some patients on hospice live longer because their symptoms are managed, and their quality of life is improved. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, hospice patients can live 29 days longer than non-hospice patients, with a better quality of life.

Hospice should not be a last-minute panic button. It was designed to be utilized over a period of time. The earlier one can start receiving their hospice benefit, the sooner we can help with resolution of issues, expression of feelings, and any feelings of fear or anxiety. When started sooner, we have time to build meaningful relationships and work through emotional and spiritual concerns, put advance directives in place so wishes are known and can be carried out, recognize a Veteran for their military service, enhance closure for patients and their loved ones-reducing the risk of complicated grief, and it gives an opportunity to fulfill any last wishes a patient may have.

Hospice care is not only for people with cancer. Medicare allows more people the opportunity to reap the benefits of hospice services. These illnesses include, but are not limited to AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Stroke, Kidney Disease, Lung Disease, Dementia, Failure to Thrive, ALS, Liver Disease, and many others.

Hospice is not about giving up hope, but instead about creating hope-filled experiences for the patient during their journey. To learn more visit

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