Hospice care in the U.S. began as a grassroots movement to provide care at home for terminally ill patients. It is a common misconception that hospice is a crisis service for the last few days of life. In actuality, hospice care is intended for patients with a terminal illness or condition, and a life expectancy of six months or less. The perception is that by electing hospice, the patient is giving up, and that end of life is imminent. However, the full benefit of hospice services come long before the end of life. We often hear, “We wish we had called hospice sooner.”
Hospice also emphasizes quality rather than length of life. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death. It does, however, affirm life and regards death as a normal process. Our goal is to enhance the patient’s quality of life in his or her final months, weeks, and days.
Our mission is focused on: