What is Hospice?
The hospice philosophy is a simple one. We strive to allow each individual to experience a peaceful and dignified death, in his own home, surrounded by his family and friends, and free from painful and unnecessary medical procedures. Our patients have reached a point in their disease process where continuing medical treatment becomes futile and might actually be harmful rather than helpful. Hospice care is palliative in nature, not curative, meaning that we work to alleviate the symptoms associated with the disease rather than trying to cure the disease overall.
Many myths exist about hospice care in this country. Hospice does not hasten a patient's death. Often, we even see patients "bounce back" or get their "second wind" once we start providing services because they are not used to all the extra attention and TLC. Hospice is not just for the final week or days of a person's life. We are saddened to admit patients who are so close to the end of their lives because we know that we don't have enough time to do the real work of hospice - the forming of relationships with patients and caregivers, the healing of past family conflicts, the reminiscing on the past and planning for the beyond, and the time to achieve peace and comfort before taking a last breath.
Hospice achieves the goal of allowing individuals to die peacefully at home by bringing into their homes all of the medical interventions necessary to keep them comfortable and pain free. Hospice provides skilled nurses to deal with the patient's physical sympoms, home health aides to help with bathing and grooming, social workers and chaplains to deal with the patient's emotional concerns, volunteers for companionship, and any medications or medical equipment related to the patient's hospice diagnosis. By assuming total care of our patients, we help them end their lives' journeys on their own terms - and no one else's.
WHO PAYS FOR HOSPICE?
THE MEDICARE HOSPICE BENEFIT
The simple answer is Medicare pays 100%, Medicaid pays 100%, private insurances typically pay 100%, and Sunset Hospice is committed to providing indigent care where needed.