Hospice care is medical treatment and support for those with life-threatening, terminal illnesses. Care is provided by a team of professionals including doctors, nurses, health aides and therapists. Hospice is typically available to those with a life expectancy of 6 months or less. The hospice philosophy emphasizes control of pain and the provision of services that allow a terminally ill patient to remain comfortable at home for as long as possible. The primary goal of hospice care is to provide those that are dying or near death with peace, comfort and dignity as they progress towards the end of life.
Since home hospice care is provided outside of a licensed medical facility, and by a combination of medical professionals and family members, there are numerous guidelines that pertain to this type of care. The Virginia Department of Health has stated specific rules and regulations regarding in-home hospice care. Every person involved as part of the unit of care, including the patient themselves, should be aware of these guidelines. Included are procedures regarding provision of care and services, indemnity coverage, criminal record checks and emergency preparedness.
For a list of frequently asked questions, visit our Hospice FAQ.