HOSPICE What It Can Do For You


Through friends that have had the benefit of hospice for their loved ones, I heard that it was a valuable and beneficial service. Because I had no idea of what this service entailed, how it worked or how you qualified for the service, I did some checking. Below are my findings:

MEDICARE PART A & B Cover All Services 100%

  • Medicare Hospice Benefit– which is an inclusive benefit, meaning this benefit under Medicare Part A covers all services 100%, so there is no need to worry about financial cost or burden. Check with your health insurance provider to verify coverage and  coverage varies by states.


  • Any other costs not associated with the terminal illness Medicare covers where applicable under Medicare Part A & B. These costs are not inclusive as they are determined by the applicable rules for those services.


  • A physician can only prescribe this service, in our case, my mom’s Oncologist
  • All treatment, medications and supplies are monitored by a hospice physician. Your primary doctor can be invited to be included in the management plan.


  • Hospice is palliative care, meaning that no life extending measures are provided only measures that help with pain management, and any measures that keep the patient comfortable.
  • Any person with a serious illness regardless of age, culture, beliefs, or cause of illness, can receive and be eligible for hospice.
  • Is for patients that have six months or less to live but can be extended when needed.
  • There is no limit to the time a patient can be in hospice.


  • Hospice can come to the patient in the place they are most comfortable.
  • It is a choice, the patient can leave the service anytime and return.  Though the patient will need to meet the hospice eligibility guidelines. These requriments can be found at Hospice Eligibility Guidelines for HCPs | VITAS Healthcare


  • The hospice team provides care and support. Which includes regular scheduled visits, providing medications and any medical supplies needed to make the patient comfortable and ease their pain.
  • Hospice provides home medical equipment and supplies related to the cause of the illness. These can include, shower chairs, oxygen tanks, hospital beds, toileting supplies, and more. Hospice can provide a detailed list of all equipment and supplies they offer.
  • Hospice provides bereavement support for loved ones for more than a year. This service we did not utilize and would have been helpful if we had taken part in it.

As you can see, hospice services are extensive in giving care and support. Because of my mother’s age, she was not a canidate for chemotherabpy or radiation.   Her oncologist recommended hospice, which my mother accepted. A hospice nurse was sent to assess my mother’s candidacy for hospice care and per the assessment was accepted into the program. Over the course of a week, my mother met with a nurse, a care giver, a massage therapist, a priest, and a social worker.

Each had their part in the care of my mother.

  • A nurse came once a week, checked her vitals and looked after the Cellulitis on her legs. (Cellulitis: Treatments, Causes, Symptoms, and More (healthline.com)
  • The care worker helped with everyday tasks, cooking, cleaning, dressing, showering.
  • The massage therapist helped with sore muscles and easing pain.
  • The priest gave spiritual comfort and a shoulder to lean on.
  • The social worker was the coordinator for the group and helped with financial problems and resolutions.

For my mother, the only service she needed was the help the nurse gave her. Hospice was there for my mother weekly at first and then twice a week toward the end of her life. What I most valued from their service was at her passing. As it was my mother’s wish to pass at home, hospice provided the means to do so. What I worried about was calling the authorities, the police and cornor.  When the time came hospice oversaw the time of death, calling the corner and the funeral home. And most importantly a nurse came out to the house and prepared my mother for transport by the funeral home. They were a blessing.

If you want to know more about hospice, you can either call your local hospital OR search the web for your area for more information.

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