We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Hospice?

Amy Pollick
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Most people have heard of hospice care, but don't want to think about it. They feel it is for people who are critically ill or "at death's door." This is not the case. This type of care does deal with end-of-life issues, but many people are still fairly active when they are admitted to hospice.

The primary requirement for hospice admission is that a physician certifies the patient probably has six or fewer months to live, if the disease runs its natural course. The timeline is not a hard and fast rule, since doctors cannot know when a patient will die, but six months is the general guideline. Hospice care can be administered wherever the patient lives: at home, or in a nursing home or other facility. The facility coordinates a care team consisting of the patient, the physician, nurses, assistants, social workers and other individuals to help administer the best care to the patient. Care includes emotional and spiritual assistance, as well as caring for the patient's family and assisting them with non-patient concerns.

When a patient is admitted to hospice, the family usually has a lot less to do. Certified nurses and assistants take over such duties as administering medication, assisting in pain management — even daily care such as bathing. Medical services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, should the patient have a crisis. Hospice can also help with issues such as getting medical equipment into the home.

This type of care also helps the patient deal with end-of-life issues emotionally and spiritually. Counselors and spiritual advisers are usually part of the treatment team, and help the family as well. Many even provide bereavement services and counseling to the family after the patient's death.

Hospice care is usually free of charge to the patient if he or she is covered by Medicare Part A. It is also covered by most insurance companies and Medicaid. Very few patients have any out-of-pocket expenses for these services.

A patient can usually speak with his or her healthcare provider about being admitted to hospice care. Many medical professionals may suggest it to patients and their families. There are also many resources available on the Internet, and from the local Commission on Aging. Many people have found this type of care to be the best, most compassionate option for caring for their loved ones at the end of their lives.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Amy Pollick
By Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at The Health Board. With experience in various roles and numerous articles under her belt, she crafts compelling content that informs and engages readers across various platforms on topics of all levels of complexity.
Discussion Comments
By anon1004171 — On Dec 03, 2020

Did the writer of this article actually go to a hospice facility or speak with patients that are under hospice care? Or did this person copy from a hospice brochure?

And hospice does not lighten the load ANON33121. Their whole objective is to teach the family to take care of the patient. The nurse is in the home for 30-45 minutes, one time a week and an aide, for baths only, 2-3 times a week. It is up to the family for 24/7 care.

Perhaps the writer of this article would do justice to this subject by reading the book ‘Killing For Profit - The Dark Side of Hospice”. It was written by a 30+ year healthcare clinician with the last seven years working for hospice. It will absolutely scare you.

By anon33121 — On Jun 01, 2009

Everything depends on the particular Hospice organization. Some families are able to do more for their loved one than others. Some organizations provide more care than others do.

Families often have less to do. They no longer have to worry about things like changing feeding tubes, bathing their loved one, or other daily care functions that they may no longer be able to perform.

I in no way implied that families no longer had a great many responsibilities, simply because of Hospice. My point is that Hospice helps lighten the load. I think that is obvious.

By anon32799 — On May 27, 2009

You state that when a patient is on hospice care that nurses and certified aides "take over" and imply that all medications will be administered by them, relieving the family of this responsibility. This most assuredly is not the case.

It is the responsibility of the nurse to teach the patient and family how and when to administer medications, and to be available to answer questions or help out in person in times of crisis. However, when a nurse is responsible for 12 or more patients, it is physically impossible to be in the homes to administer the drugs whenever patients may need them. Besides, the Medicare daily reimbursement for hospice care, the gold standard in this country, is often less than 1/2 of what an RN makes in an 8-hour day. And this payment must cover all medical equipment, drugs related to treating the disease and the patient's symptoms, salaries and mileage expenses for nurses and aides, medical supplies, and office staff, just to mention a few costs of doing business. In short the statement that there is "less" for the family to do is terribly misleading.

Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick
Amy Pollick, a talented content writer and editor, brings her diverse writing background to her work at The Health Board...
Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.