What Is Hospice Care?

Hospice is a specialized, team-based approach to support and care for individuals with life-limiting or advanced illness and their families. When curative care is no longer an option, hospice focuses on meeting the physical and emotional needs at the end of life, so that families can focus on what is important.

The goals of hospice care are to ensure comfort, enhance quality of life, and preserve dignity and choice.

What’s the difference between hospice and palliative care?

Both hospice and palliative care focus on treating symptoms (such as anxiety, nausea, pain, or difficulty sleeping) and enhancing your quality of life.

Palliative care

Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of an illness and can be part of a care plan that includes treatment of a disease.

Hospice care

Hospice care is appropriate when a physician feels that a patient’s life expectancy may be six months or less. When curative care is no longer an option, hospice focuses on providing physical comfort and emotional support so that life can be lived as fully as possible.

What services does hospice provide?

With your guidance and collaboration, your care team will work with your caregivers and personal doctor to develop a care plan tailored to your needs and goals.

Your services may include:

  • Medical care, including all medication, supplies, and equipment necessary to manage your symptoms and relieve physical discomfort
  • Guidance on what to expect as your condition changes
  • Counseling for emotional and spiritual support
  • Help with practical issues, such as advance care planning, medical decision-making, and preparing for the future.

When should hospice be considered?

We recognize that it can be difficult to think about hospice. If you are coping with the pressures of a serious or potentially terminal illness, you don’t have to go through it alone. Starting a conversation about your care options as early as possible allows you and your loved ones more time to focus on what is important to you.

Hospice care may be appropriate when:

  • Your symptoms are becoming harder to manage
  • You are spending more time in the hospital, with less time between hospitalizations
  • Your main priority is comfort and relief from pain or other symptoms
  • Curative care is no longer an option or you decide you no longer wish to pursue curative treatments
  • You are diagnosed with a condition such as heart failure, COPD, end-stage renal disease, dementia, cancer, or stroke and your illness is life-limiting.

Who is eligible for hospice care?

Eligibility for hospice is established on a case-by-case basis. We can answer your questions and help you evaluate whether hospice might be an option, and work with your doctor as needed. Call our dedicated hospice team at any time of day or night at 1-212-609-1900.

More About Hospice

Hospice and Palliative Care

Hospice and Palliative Care

As you or a loved one face a serious illness or condition, you can count on VNSNY Hospice and Palliative Care for help and support. From life planning and engaging with family and friends, to emotional support and spiritual care, to pain and symptom management, VNSNY will be a trusted partner. Read More
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