Hospice Care

older woman and daughter embrace and hold hands

Hospice is specialty care for people living with advanced illness who wish to focus on comfort and relief from distressing symptoms rather than curative treatment. Hospice is a philosophy of care that promotes quality of life and the alleviation of suffering.

Our hospice team serves people of any age with advanced illness including, but not limited to, cancer, heart or lung disease, kidney or liver disease, dementia, Parkinson’s and ALS.

Hospice care is appropriate for people who have a prognosis of approximately six months or less. While advanced illness affects how a person lives, much can be done to improve physical comfort and emotional well-being. Many people receiving hospice care continue to enjoy activities that are meaningful to them. Our hospice team helps people remain mobile, alert, and engaged for as long as their conditions will allow.

Soon after receiving a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness, you and your family may wish to consider all your care options so you are better able to make fully informed decisions. The earlier hospice becomes involved, the better we can serve and support you and your family.

If you’re not ready to consider hospice, you may still benefit from Good Sam’s palliative care services.

Benefits of Hospice Care

Simply put, hospice is about choosing life. It’s about believing that every moment, of every hour, of every day matters and deciding to savor every one.

Hospice teams work with existing physicians and nursing staff to care for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of both the patient and their family and loved ones. But our goal is unique compared to traditional restorative care. We focus on caring, rather than curing, and we do whatever it takes to help patients and loved ones face the journey ahead with clarity and dignity.

Hospice services range from pain management to a host of alternative therapies, and these programs can be implemented wherever the patient is most comfortable: a private residence, nursing home, apartment, etc. While hospice is not a 24/7 service, Good Samaritan and most hospice programs are on-call around the clock should a need arise.

What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care?

Palliative care provides comfort and minimizes symptoms, possibly alongside curative treatments. Hospice is a type of comfort care for those whose life expectancy is six months or less, but the journey is unique to each individual. Hospice is holistic in nature. In addition to symptom management, hospice addresses the spiritual, mental and emotional challenges of end-of-life and includes the needs of both the patient and the family in the plan of care.

Is hospice care comfort care?
Yes, hospice care is always about comfort. Hospice care does NOT mean “no care.” Many people think that choosing comfort care rather than curative care means someone will not receive any care at all. This could not be more wrong! Hospice care is very aggressive care with the goal of making and keeping someone comfortable.
Where is hospice located?
Hospice is not a place, but a philosophy of care for people with an incurable or life-limiting disease. When a patient enters into hospice care, we come to them to provide services, whether their residence is a home, a nursing facility or a hospital. Hospice care is provided most often in a patient’s home–the place where someone is most comfortable and surrounded by friends, family and familiar objects.
What is the difference between hospice and home health care?
Hospice care is often confused with traditional “home health” services. In fact, they are quite different. While both provide services “in the home” or, in some cases, in a facility such as a nursing home or assisted living, home health focuses on rehabilitation to help someone get better or physically improve. Hospice focuses on aggressive comfort and symptom management and considers family and caregivers as patients as well.