What Is Hospice

Hospice is About Living Life on Your Terms

Hospice care focuses on improving the quality of life for persons and their families faced with a life-limiting illness. The primary goals of hospice care are to provide comfort, relieve physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering, and promote the dignity of terminally ill persons. As such, it is palliative (comfort) care, not curative care.

Hospice doesn’t give anyone the power to shorten or prolong life, just the power to live it as you choose. Heart of Hospice is committed to the idea that Hospice isn’t about dying, it’s about living and making each journey the best it can be.

garden-scenic-maple-closeWhere is Hospice Care Given?

Hospice care is a philosophy and approach rather than a place. Care may be provided in a person’s home, an assisted living facility, a skilled nursing facility, hospital, or independent facility devoted to end-of-life care (a Hospice House). It all depends on the family and the person taking the journey.


What Kind of Treatment Is Provided Through Hospice Care?
Hospice treats the whole person, not just the disease. It focuses on the needs of both the patient and the family. The health care team is specially trained in pain and disease management, as well as practical needs such as insurance coverage, transportation, and assistance with bathing. Additionally, they attend to emotional and spiritual needs such as caregiver stress, grief, and fear of dying. Care is provided by an interdisciplinary team including the physician, nurse, social worker, chaplain, pharmacist, certified nursing assistant, volunteers, and physical therapists. Learn more about Hospice Services.


Is There a Distinction Between Hospice and Palliative Care?
The goals of both palliative care and hospice care are to relieve suffering and to improve quality of life. While hospice care is customarily provided during the last few months of a person’s life, palliative (comfort) care can begin very early in the patient’s journey. Persons with a life-limiting disease may receive palliative care to relieve pain and other physical symptoms and to assist them in coping with how the illness impacts their daily living and family life.
Heart of Hospice is very pleased to offer a separate Heart of Hospice “Transitions” palliative care program, to provide a seamless transition between our palliative care program and our Hospice program. Get more information about  Heart of Hospice Transitions.


What is the Difference Between Hospice and Home Health Nursing Care?
Two primary differences exist between Hospice care and home health nursing. First, any patient with a skilled medical care need is qualified to receive home health nursing care if they are homebound. The patient may be recuperating from heart surgery or require intravenous medication for an infection from which they are expected to recover. Hospice care is limited to persons with a terminal illness, usually with a life expectancy of six months or less, and with a focus on palliation (comfort care) not cure. Second, where persons in home health care receive visits primarily from a nurse or therapist, persons in hospice care receive the services of an entire interdisciplinary team whose area of expertise is end-of-life care.