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What is hospice?

The discussion about care planning -- no matter how far away those eventualities might seem -- can be disconcerting. No one wants to sit and enjoy long conversations about the possibility of being ill or how they want to die. If you don't have these discussions with someone now, though, then the hour of need might be upon you and you won't be able to let someone know what your wishes are. That's one of the biggest values of working with an elder law professional on your estate and care planning in California.

One of the things you might want to talk about is hospice. Hospice is a type of medical care that occurs when medical providers and your family decide that you are not going to get better with care in a hospital or other facility. Instead, the focus switches to keeping you comfortable as you live out your last days, weeks or even years, often in your own home.

Because hospice is care that deals with approaching death, it frightens people. However, you might want to make your wishes known about hospice care now, because it can make a big difference in your quality of life toward the end. You might not want to struggle through endless treatments in a hospital if there isn't much hope they will work; you might instead want to be with friends and family and enjoy that time in whatever capacity you have left.

While hospice is covered at least partially under Medicare, it isn't always completely covered, especially if you need the care for longer than planned. During your care planning, consider working with an experienced professional to plan for financing various health care expenses, including hospitalizations, nursing home or long-term care and hospice.

Source: The Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare, "How hospice works," accessed Sep. 23, 2016

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