November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.

Knowing Your Options is the theme, with the intention of providing an important educational message to clarify this often-confusing form of care.

What is Hospice?

  • Hospice is a viable treatment option for those with palliative goals
    • Combats the idea that hospice is only provided when there is nothing more that can be done
  • Hospice is actively and aggressively treating troubling symptoms
  • Hospice is not just for the last few days of life

What kind of care do people receive from hospice?

  • Compassionate care from a skilled interdisciplinary team including physician, nurses, aides, spiritual care counselors, social workers and volunteers
  • Massage therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, music therapy, pet therapy, physical/occupational/speech therapy
  • Medications, equipment and supplies

How is this paid for?

  • Covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance

When is the right time to access hospice services?

  • People are eligible for hospice when they are diagnosed with a terminal condition and a limited life expectancy (6 months or less).
  • It is important to understand what Hospice is so when the need arises, you are prepared.

How do we talk about end of life with a loved one during the holidays?

  • Take time to remember those in your life who have died, recognize what you are thankful that they brought into your life, recognize the empty chair
  • Open the dialogue about the possibility of this being their last holiday season.
  • If that is too difficult, talk about what is important to them, their preferences and priorities.

Where can I find more information regarding hospice services?

For more information please visit the Porter Hills blog at