The prospect of losing a loved one is among the greatest challenges any of us face in life. Hospice care can make that journey a less fearful and more peaceful one for both the patient and their family.

Hospice care is a philosophy of medical care focused on providing comfort, dignity, and support to people with terminal illnesses or nearing the end of life. Hospice care is not curative. When a cure is no longer an option, the hospice team provides relief of physical symptoms, including managing pain, as well as emotional and spiritual support for the patient, family, and caregiver(s).

Hospice care is delivered wherever the patient is home, nursing home, or other residence. A patient on hospice never needs to go to a medical office, clinic, or pharmacy to receive care or medications. Services are provided by a team of specially trained professionals and volunteers, and assistance is available 24 hours day, seven days a week. Hospice also offers a variety of counseling and bereavement services to families before and after a loved one’s death.

Is Hospice Care Only for the Elderly?

Hospice care is available to anyone diagnosed with a terminal illness and who has a life expectancy of six months or less, no matter their age. Most people receiving hospice care are elders, but children and young people are eligible.