Geriatrics and Extended Care
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice Care is comfort care provided to Veterans and their families if the Veteran has a terminal condition, with less than 6 months to live, and is no longer seeking treatment other than palliative care. Hospice Care can be provided at home, in an outpatient clinic or in an inpatient setting.
For Veterans interested in receiving inpatient hospice services at a Community Living Center (VA Nursing Home), check out the survey scores for hospice care which may help you or your family when faced with the task of choosing a nursing home setting for hospice care.
Hospice Care for Veterans
Hospice is a benefit that the VA offers to qualified Veterans who are in the final phase of their lives, typically six months or less. This multi-disciplinary team approach helps Veterans live fully until they die. The VA also works very closely with community and home hospice agencies to provide care in the home.
Am I eligible for Hospice Care?
Since Hospice Care is part of the VHA Standard Medical Benefits Package, all enrolled Veterans are eligible IF they meet the clinical need for the service.
There are NO COPAYS for Hospice Care, whether it is provided by the VA or an organization with a VA contract.
What services can I get?
Hospice Care provides services that relieve suffering and help control symptoms in a way that respects your personal, cultural, and religious beliefs and practices. Hospice Care also provides bereavement support to your family.
You and your family meet with a care team to develop a plan of care together that meets your medical, social, spiritual and psychological needs.
How do I decide if Hospice Care is right for me?
You can use a Veteran Decision Aid for Care at Home or in the Community to help you figure out what home care services or long term care services 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 short-term and long-term care decisions.
Ask your social worker for these resources or download copies from the Making Decisions page at www.va.gov/Geriatrics.
Talk with your VA social worker about Hospice Care. Find a VA social worker in your area.