"People in hospice are not finished.   They may be on their final lap of life's race, but everyone matters until the last moment."  Photographers John and Melanie Seward, courtesy of Good Shepherd Hospice.

 "People i

"I love life.  I don't have time for grumpy people," Bea, age 94

The Difference Between Palliative and Hospice Care: An Expert Interview With Gabriela Kaplan, RN, MSN, AOCN, Medscape Medical News, June 7, 2010


"Many people think hospice care is just about dying. Hospice care is more than that.

"Hospice brings comfort and support to people facing a life-limiting illness. It also reaches out to provide support for the family and friends who love and care for them.

Hospice care honors life's final journey, leaving a legacy of compassion and caring.

Hospice brings comfort, dignity and peace to help people live every moment of life to the fullest, leaving loved ones with memories they can treasure.

Last year, 1.4 million dying Americans were served by the nation's hospice providers, reports the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Yet there are many facts about hospice that people are not aware of and may keep people from getting this compassionate care when they need it most.


  • Hospice is not a place but is a kind of high-quality care that brings the patient and family medical, emotional, and spiritual care and support focusing on comfort and quality of life.
  • Medicare beneficiaries pay little or nothing for hospice, and most insurance plans, HMOs and managed care plans include hospice coverage.
  • Hospice serves anyone facing a life-limiting illness, regardless of age or illness.
  • Research has shown that the majority of Americans do not want to die in a hospital; hospice treats pain and manages symptoms while allowing most patients to be at home.
  • Hospice also serves people living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
  • Hospice patients and families can receive care for six months or longer, and the greatest benefits are gained by being in hospice care for more than just a few days.
  • Fewer than one percent of Medicare beneficiaries live in an area where hospice is not available.
  • A person may keep his or her referring physician involved while receiving hospice care.
  • Hospice serves people of all backgrounds and traditions; the core values of hospice - allowing the patient to be with family, including spiritual and emotional support, treating pain - cut across all cultures.
  • Hospice offers grief and bereavement services to family members and the community."

Visalia Times Delta, November 28, 2009,

How to choose a hospice outlined in news article, http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-hospice25-2010jan25,0,6111030.story

 Indeed, the" final lap" is always the most exciting!

Palliative Care is a choice available to Oklahomans that may include hospice care . . . more

Information regarding news and events related to hospice services in Oklahoma is invited.

To submit questions, suggestions or comments, e-mail  ok-palliative@ouhsc.edu.