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What is hospice?

Hospice is specialized end-of-life care for those who have a terminal illness.  It is not a place, it is a way of caring for people with dignity, respect, and compassion. Del Corazon Hospice care is comfort care that comes from the heart.

When should someone call to learn about hospice care?

It is best to learn about hospice care in the early stages of a terminal condition so that the stress is minimal when the time for hospice care is needed. An individual becomes eligible for hospice services when the terminal condition is considered to be in the final six months. That means when the natural progression of the illness is thought to limit life expectancy to six months or less. Please consider calling Del Corazon Hospice (505-988-2049) to inquire about an assessment. There is no charge for the assessment.

Is hospice care only for people with cancer?

Hospice provides services to individuals with any terminal diagnosis and who have a life expectancy of six months or less based on a physician’s best judgment. This includes, but is not limited to: Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia, heart and liver diseases, cancer, COPD and other lung conditions, ALS, Parkinson’s and many other conditions.

Is hospice care expensive? Who pays for hospice?

No, hospice care is not expensive. Hospice care, including the medical equipment, supplies, and medications related to the terminal diagnosis are all covered under the Medicare and Medicaid Hospice Benefits. Many private insurance plans also offer a hospice benefit. The Del Corazon Hospice social worker can help you with the inquiry.

Does hospice speed up dying?

No. Hospice does nothing to speed up the process of dying. Hospice care manages symptoms and discomfort for the best quality of life and to minimize suffering. Choosing hospice does not mean death is imminent. Hospice care neither hastens death nor prolongs life but instead allows for a better quality of life.

Will someone from the hospice be with the patient 24 hours a day?

A Del Corazon Hospice registered nurse is available by telephone 24 hours a day although a hospice team member does not stay with the patient throughout the day. A Hospice patient should have a primary caregiver, usually a family member or close friend. Our team works closely with family members and loved ones to instruct and empower them as caregivers. Additionally, the hospice team provides caregiver support, community resources, and guidance. The Hospice team can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even on holidays and weekends.

What services does hospice provide?

The services Del Corazon Hospice provides include:

  • Personal care
  • Assistance with the activities of daily living
  • Preparation of a medication box
  • Access to medical equipment, oxygen and other supplies
  • Access to community resources
  • Assistance in filing forms and making final arrangements
  • 24 / 7 communication with an RN
  • Companionship and help problem-solving
  • Emotional and spiritual support
  • Peace of mind
  • Homemaker services

What if my loved one’s health improves?

If there is an improvement in condition, delivery of hospice care can be discontinued.  And when hospice care is again needed, your loved one can be re-admitted.

Choosing hospice care is a personal choice; it’s a conscious decision to move away from curative treatments and instead focus on quality of life. Hospice care provides dignity and comfort so what remains of life can be lived more fully.