Hospice care is provided to terminally-ill individuals and/or their caregivers and families. Hospice benefi ciaries must
be under the care of a physician. Hospice services do not cure illnesses, but produce the greatest degree of relief
from the symptoms of a terminal illness. Hospice services include support ve care during the dying process, as well
as bereavement assistance to the family and caregivers after the death of a loved one.
Hospice services can be delivered in the home, in a licensed health care facility such as a nursing home, in a
hospice residence, or in an inpatient hospice facility. An interdisciplinary team consisting of a physician, a registered
nurse, clergy/counselors, volunteers and other specialists work with the terminally-ill person and his/her family or
caregivers. Hospices develop a plan of care to meet the patient’s care needs. Care is available 24 hours a day, 7 days
Palliative care is off ered by hospice agencies. Nurses provide assessments, patient and family teaching, pain
management, and other services prior to end-of-life care. The service is usually free.