What is Hospice?  What is Hospice Home Health?

What is Hospice? What is Hospice Home Health?


Hospice is a public agency or a private organization that provides care for the terminally ill and their family with a specific plan of care that addresses their physical, psychological, spiritual, and emotional needs.  This interdisciplinary form of health care alleviates the physical, emotional, social and spiritual discomfort of an individual that is that is experiencing the last phase of life as we know it due to a terminal disease.  This form of health care also provides supportive care to the primary caregiver and the patient’s family by meeting the following criteria:

  • Provides home health services in the patient’s home based on the medical needs of the patient.
  • Delivers home hospice services by using volunteers.
  • Social and emotional needs are created by the death of the loved one.  It is the home hospice provider’s responsibility to provide bereavement services following the death to the family.
  • Provides for the palliative care and medical treatment of pain associated with a terminal disease.
  • Requires the hospice home health team to develop a plan of care to provide care that emphasizes services that are supportive.  These would include pain control, home care, and limited inpatient services.  The limited inpatient services are there so that the patients care is continuous and to make sure that the services are appropriate for patients whom cannot be cared for at home because of complications or because they lack a care giver at home.
  • Utilizes a team of individuals that have advanced knowledge in several different but complimentary areas to identify the physical, medical, social, psychological and spiritual needs of the patient and their family members.
  • Considers the unit of care to be not only the patient but the patient’s family.

What is a Home Health Agency?

A home health agency is a private organization that provides nursing services to the terminally ill.  A home health agency is not a licensed nurses’ registry or an employment agency.  A home health agency license is not required to administer skilled nursing services in a facility.  A physician, dentist, podiatrist or other licensed and legally authorized health care practitioner does not require a home health agency license to practice.

What Is Bereavement Counseling?

The spiritual, psychological, and emotional support and services provided before and after the death of a patient related to adjustment, loss and grief are known as bereavement counseling.  Bereavement counseling is a major service offered by home health agencies.