What is hospice?

Hospice care keeps a patient as comfortable as possible for the remainder of life after ceasing aggressive treatment.

After a patient’s condition no longer improves, they may choose to discontinue curative treatment. Instead of frequent hospital visits, the focus becomes on managing pain and other symptoms from home or a hospice facility. Hospice—a subset of palliative care—supports the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of the patient and family. Transitioning to hospice can be a good decision when patients and their families need external aid or desire to remain in their own house, apartment, or nursing home.

“Patients can use hospice to have the best possible life with the time that they have left.”

It’s a common misconception that hospice caregivers stay with patients at all hours. Instead, hospice providers check in—two or three times per week, for example—to ensure patients remain comfortable and receive any medications they may need. Caregivers at facilities like hospice houses do stay with patients around the clock as patients typically only enter these centers during the last days or week of life.