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What the heck is hospice?

Last week on the blog we discussed ways to age in place without having to leave your home. Today we’re going to talk about hospice and how it allows you to manage care wherever you are, whether it’s in your home or in a hospital.

Hospice is one of those words that people throw around when taking about healthcare, but what does it mean? According to the Mayo Clinic: 

Hospice care is for people who are nearing the end of life. The services are provided by a team of health care professionals who maximize comfort for a person who is terminally ill by reducing pain and addressing physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. To help families, hospice care also provides counseling, respite care and practical support. Unlike other medical care, the focus of hospice care isn’t to cure the underlying disease. The goal is to support the highest quality of life possible for whatever time remains. 

Simply put, hospice is 24/7 care for a loved one to make sure they’re comfortable when they have six months or less before their disease runs its course. Hospice Care is sometimes confused with Palliative Care, which is also called “symptom management” and involves treating symptoms to keep the patient comfortable while waiting for a cure for their disease

Starting hospice care does not mean that you or your loved one are giving up. In fact, the earlier your loved one starts hospice care, the better their quality of life.  Best of all, hospice can be administered in your loved one’s home and most hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. Talk to your loved one and their doctor to see if hospice could be another tool in your caregiving toolbox.

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