What is hospice?
Hospice is a unique philosophy of health care for patients with a life-limiting illness. Hospice focuses on enhancing the patient’s quality of a life while also providing support to the caregiving family and ensures patients and their loved ones that the dying process will be pain-free and dignified.

Does hospice mean giving up hope?
No. Hospice is about comfort and support for patients and families. It is about living your last days, weeks and months to the fullest, taking the time to spend precious moments with loved ones.

Are only patients with cancer eligible for hospice care?
No. Any patient with a life limiting diagnosis and who lives in our service area is eligible for admission to Gilchrist Hospice Care. We provide care to patients with cancer, end-stage heart and lung disease, kidney disease, ALS and other neurological diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, AIDS and other life-limiting diseases.

How will I pay for hospice?
Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurers will pay the cost of hospice services, but Gilchrist Hospice Care will provide care to any eligible patient regardless of insurance or ability to pay. Through the generosity of our donors, Gilchrist is able to offer financial assistance for patients with no or inadequate insurance.

Will you come to my home, nursing home, retirement facility or assisted living facility?
Yes. We provide hospice care wherever you reside –at home, in nursing homes, retirement facilities and assisted living facilities. If more intense medical intervention is needed, patients are usually admitted to Gilchrist Center, our inpatient facility in Towson, or Gilchrist Center Howard County, our inpatient unit in Columbia. For patients with no safe place to live or no able caregiver, we offer residential inpatient hospice care at Gilchrist Center Baltimore – Joseph Richey House.

When should I talk with my doctor/loved one about hospice care?
Early and often. It’s important to have courageous conversations with your family and doctor about your life-limiting diagnosis and options for care before you are in a crisis situation so that you may carefully consider all of your options.

Am I “giving up” by choosing hospice?
No, you are merely choosing to change the focus of your care to comfort and quality of life. Studies have shown that patients with life limiting illnesses who enroll in hospice care live an average of 29 days longer than those who did not, most often due to the coordination of care hospice provides and because they are no longer receiving advanced treatments that place added stress on the body.


caregivers, families and physicians



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