Medicare offers a benefit for those nearing the end of life. This benefit is called hospice care. This benefit is optional, so you must choose to receive this care. For you to qualify for hospice, a doctor must certify that you have six months or less to live.
Hospice care does not try to cure your illness. Instead, hospice focuses on keeping you comfortable and improving your quality of life in your final weeks or months. Hospice care caters to your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Hospice care also helps your family cope with your illness.
The hospice benefit covers several services that Medicare typically does not cover otherwise. These include respite care, which gives your caregiver some physical relief. It covers nurses, if you have a medical emergency. It also provides grief counseling for your loved ones. Choosing hospice care is a big decision. Please give it careful thought.