What is Hospice


Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury, hospice and palliative care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care and pain management. Emotional and spiritual support is expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes, and support is provided for the patient’s loved ones as well. At the center of hospice and palliative care is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. Hospice focuses on caring, not curing, and, in most cases, care is provided in the patient’s home. Hospice services are available to patients of any age, religion, race, or illness.


Compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury

Typically, a family member serves as the primary caregiver and, when appropriate, helps make decisions for the terminally ill patient. Members of the hospice staff make regular visits to assess the patient’s condition and provide additional care or other services if needed. Hospice staff is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hospice team develops a care plan that meets that meets a patient’s individual needs for pain management and symptom control.


Our interdisciplinary hospice team performs many services. It helps manage the patient’s pain and symptoms with skilled nursing care, provides needed medication, medical supplies and equipment, home health aides, and coaches the family on how to care for the patient.  It also assists the patient with social services to address the emotional, psychosocial and spiritual aspects of end of life needs. The hospice team also makes sure to deliver special services when needed such as music, massage, aroma and reiki therapies using only the most skilled professionals e.g. music therapy is administered only by board certified therapists who are part of our core interdisciplinary team.  The hospice team also makes short-term inpatient care available when pain or symptoms become too difficult to manage at home, and provides bereavement care and counseling to surviving family and friends.


Hospice care is about helping patients live each day of their lives to the fullest extent possible and providing support to both patients and families. When making a decision about hospice care, it helps to have a good understanding of what hospice care is and what it isn’t. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about hospice, along with the true facts about this special kind of care.

FACT: Receiving hospice care does not mean giving up hope or that death is imminent. The earlier an individual receives hospice care, the more opportunity there is to stabilize the patient’s medical condition and address other needs. Some patients actually improve and may be eventually discharged from hospice care.

FACT: Hospice care usually takes place in the comfort of the patient’s home, but can be provided in any environment, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and residential care facilities.
FACT:  Coverage for hospice care is widely available. It is provided by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance companies. Patients and families may contact Continuum Care Hospice at any time to review coverage options.
FACT: Patients may keep their own physician, who will work closely with the Continuum Care Hospice Medical Director to plan and carry out care.
FACT: Our hospice patients are those who have any life-ending disease such as congestive heart failure, dementia, or chronic lung disease.
FACT: Medicare and most private insurance companies pay for hospice care as long as the patient continues to meet the criteria necessary. Patients may come on and off hospice care and re-enroll in hospice care as needed.
FACT: Hospice focuses on the comfort, dignity, and emotional support of the entire family. The quality of life for the patient and family members is our highest priority.