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50+: Live Better, Longer

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Care at the End of Life - Where to Receive Care

Hospice care continued...

Hospice care seeks to relieve physical symptoms and address your emotional, social, and spiritual needs, as well as the needs of your loved ones. Hospice offers a chance to address difficult but normal concerns that you and those you love may have about death and dying, such as pain, unresolved issues, and caregiving needs. If you choose, the counseling and support services that hospice provides will offer opportunities to work on mending important relationships and to explore spiritual issues.

The hospice team can help with advance directive forms and with legal and financial affairs. Also, hospice staff can answer questions about treatment and what to expect during the dying process. The team can also help with physical needs, such as bathing and pain control.

Hospice services are a benefit of many private health insurance policies. Check your health plan for specific information about hospice coverage. Also, if you qualify for Medicare benefits, hospice services are covered through the Medicare hospice benefit.

For more information on choosing hospice, see the topic Hospice Care.

Home care

You may choose to remain at home as your illness progresses, especially if you have a large support network of family and friends who can help with your care. Another factor in making this choice may be whether you have the financial resources to hire trained caregivers to help your family with your care. Remaining at home in a familiar environment, surrounded by loved ones, may be the best care option in these circumstances.

Community services are available to help your family provide care for you at home. Talk to your doctor about receiving help from hospice or a nursing agency. Make a list of people who can help your family with your care, including people from work, church, or community groups. In many larger communities, private case management practices are available to help find and coordinate the services you may need in order to be cared for at home.

Nursing home care

You may consider receiving care in a nursing home if you are unable to remain at home during your illness. A nursing home also may be the best option if you need more skilled care than can be provided at home, or if a family member is unable to care for you because he or she is ill, disabled, or elderly.

Information on actionset.gif choosing a nursing home may help you as you decide whether nursing home care is the best choice for you.

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