Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing a serious or life-limiting illness or injury, hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. Support is provided to the patient’s loved ones as well.

The hospice philosophy of care focuses on quality of life. When a cure is no longer possible, hospice care is designed to treat the whole person, and not just the disease. Hospice provides person- and family-centered care provided by an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals who work with the patient and family to design and implement a plan of care unique to the patient’s diagnosis. The patient’s wishes are always a priority. In addition, hospice provides all medications, services, and equipment related to the terminal illness. Hospice care does not end with the patient’s death; it continues with up to 13 months of bereavement counseling for the family and loved ones.

Hospice cares for people where they live. Although some hospice care is provided in hospitals, in-patient hospice facilities or nursing homes, the vast majority of patients are cared for in the place they call home, which is where the majority of Americans would prefer to receive care at life’s end.