Hospice is a comfort based form of care for Veterans who have a terminal condition with 6 months or less to live.
Palliative care is a form of treatment that emphasizes comfort care but does not require the Veteran have a terminal condition.
Since Hospice and Palliative Care are part of the VHA Standard Medical Benefits Package, all enrolled Veterans are eligible IF they meet the clinical need for the service.
Copays are NOT charged for Hospice and Palliative Care, whether they are provided by the VA or an organization with a VA contract.
Find out more about Paying for Long Term Care.
Hospice and Palliative Care provides treatment that relieves suffering and helps to control symptoms in a way that respects your personal, cultural, and religious beliefs and practices. Hospice also provides grief counseling to your family.
You and your family are assessed by a care team and a plan of care is developed to meet your medical, social, spiritual and psychological needs. This care is available to Veterans in their home, community, outpatient or inpatient settings.
You can use a Shared Decision Making Worksheet to help you figure out what long term care services or settings may best meet your needs now or in the future.
There's also a Caregiver Self-Assessment . It can help your caregiver identify their own needs and decide how much support they can offer to you. Having this information from your caregiver, along with the involvement of your care team and social worker, will help you reach good long term care decisions.
Your physician or other primary care provider can answer questions about your medical needs.
Some important things to discuss with your social worker and family include:
If Hospice or Palliative Care seems right for you, your VA social worker can help you locate and coordinate those services.
It makes me feel better to know that my wishes will be honored and I will have assistance managing my symptoms if I decide not to have any further treatment for my illness.
This is always a hard time, but the information I received from the compassionate hospice workers helped me to cope right after my husband passed.
Carol, Veteran's wife and caregiver
Veterans Crisis Line:
1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs | 810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington DC 20420
Last updated March 12, 2014