Hospice is a philosophy of care that accepts death as the final stage of life. The goal of hospice is to enable patients to continue an alert, pain-free life and to manage other symptoms so that their last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital Home Hospice Program
Our program assures patients that each day can be enjoyed in physical and emotional comfort. Our team of physicians, nurses, social workers, pastoral counselors, bereavement counselors, volunteers and other healthcare professionals provide holistic, home-based support to patients and families.
Most hospice care in the United States is given in the patient’s home, and though hospice staff is available and provides care, much of the care is provided by family.
- Hospice affirms life and does not rush nor postpone death
- Hospice care treats the person rather than the disease
- Hospice focuses on quality rather than length of life
- Hospice provides family-centered care and involves the patient and the family in decision-making
- Care is available for the patient and family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Hospice care can be given in the patient's home, a hospital, nursing home, or private hospice facility
When to Consider Hospice Care
Hospice care is suitable when patients no longer benefit from treatment aimed at curing disease and are expected to live six months or less. Hospice gives patients palliative care, which is treatment to help relieve symptoms of a life-limiting illness. Its main purpose is to improve quality of life. Patients, their families, and their doctors decide together when hospice care should begin.
One of the problems with hospice is that it is often not started soon enough. Sometimes the doctor, patient, or family member will resist hospice because he or she feels it sends a message of no hope. This is not true. If you get better or the disease goes into remission, you can be taken out of the hospice program and return to active treatment. You can go back to hospice care at a later time, if needed. The hope that hospice brings is the hope of a quality life, making the best of each day during the last stages of advanced illness.
Cost and Payment
Hospice care cost is usually covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurance carriers. Our staff will contact your insurance company to confirm coverage and will discuss other payment options with you if necessary. No patient is denied hospice care because of inability to pay.
Contribute to Our Program
Contributions to our program enable us to provide patients and families the most compassionate care, integrated with education and research. If you would like to support our program or remember a loved one by making a gift, please call 312-926-4600.
To learn more about Home Hospice or to schedule an initial appointment, call 312-926-4600. A referral from your physician is the only requirement.