"What is Hospice Care?" | By Penny Zielinski

Hospice is an approach to provide end of life care to a patient and the family. Dying is a natural process of life just as the birth process. The goal of hospice is to alleviate/control pain symptoms and to allow a patient to die in the familiar surroundings of their home. Hospice does not hasten death or postpone death.

To be eligible for Hospice a patient’s doctor must certify that the patient has a terminal illness with a diagnosis of six months to live. However, many hospice patients live longer with the care provided and the alleviation of the stress that the hospice team provides.

Hospice is paid through Medicare, Medicaid and Insurance, but other financial arrangements can be procured if the patient does not have these financial resources.

Hospice includes nursing, social services, bereavement, certified nursing assistance and chaplain services. This team coordinates their care in conjunction with the patient’s doctor or the Hospice Medical Director. The team approach allows the patient and family to receive not only the physical care they require but addresses the emotional and spiritual issues associated with end of life issues.

If you or your loved one is facing a terminal illness be assured you do not have to take this journey without support. The hospice team is a special group of caring people dedicated to assisting their patients and families.

AIM Hospice in Rockport is a non-profit organization serving the Coastal Bend area for 25 years. If you have questions about hospice, please call our office at (361)729.0507. -- LMSW Penny Zielinski

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