What is Hospice Care?

Tuesday, June 21, 2022


Hospice care is available to patients who have a prognosis of 6 months or less. It does not mean death is imminent, but that a transition in care would be beneficial to the patient. Hospice is a comprehensive approach to end-of-life care that provides emotional, spiritual, physical, and psychological support tailored to each patient’s needs. This allows patients and loved ones to focus on the things most important to them, while providing peace of mind that help is always available.

Patients receive care in their own home, wherever that may be. This could be a patient’s private residence, home of a family member, adult foster home, nursing facility, or retirement community. Lumina does not have a hospice house, preferring to care for patients in the comfort of their home.

Hospice care is provided to patients who have a prognosis of 6 months or less and who are no longer seeking curative treatment. Hospice care for the terminally ill emphasizes helping the patient to be as comfortable as possible and maintain a sense of control and dignity. Starting hospice care does not mean death is imminent. The sooner hospice care begins, the more hospice can help the patient. Hospice care provides:

  • Medicine, supplies, and equipment to treat pain and symptoms
  • Emotional, spiritual, and social support for the patient and family
  • Training and support for caregivers
  • Counseling and grief support for the patient and family

The support provided by a hospice’s interdisciplinary teams allows patients and their families to gain the tools they need to improve their quality of life for whatever time remains. Hospice staff work as a team, and are experts trained in comfort and end-of-life care. Often the primary care physician works closely with the hospice team. A hospice team may include:

  • Doctor
  • Nurse Case Managers
  • Hospice Aides
  • Social Workers
  • Chaplains
  • Volunteers
  • Bereavement Counselor
  • Massage therapist
  • Other experts

Referring to Hospice

Patients have the right to choose their hospice agency, regardless of physician, insurance, or other affiliation. If a physician refers you or your loved one to hospice, the choice of hospice is yours to make. Anyone can make a referral to hospice. After a referral is made, hospice staff follow up with the patient’s doctor for more information on the patient’s prognosis. The sooner a patient is referred, the more hospice can help.

Upon admission, the hospice team builds a care plan based on the patient’s needs and wishes. In most cases, hospice staff visit patients a few times a week. Hospice staff are not caregivers and do not provide day-to-day care, however respite care may be available. Staff are available for support by phone 24/7.

As your local nonprofit hospice, your care -not profit- is our top priority. For more information, or to make a hospice referral, please reach out to us at 541.757.9616.