Home health care often helps people who are likely to regain their health. But a special type of care is available to those nearing their final days. This care is provided through a hospice program.

Hospice care is offered to people who are expected to live six months or less. Its goal is to help those who are dying, as well as their families and friends, through the final stages of life.

Hospice provides services based on each person's needs and wishes. This often includes pain-reducing medical care and guidance for family caregivers. Emotional and spiritual supports, as well as grief counseling, are key aspects of hospice.

Usually hospice care takes place in a person's home. But it also can be offered in nursing homes, hospitals and other settings. Medicare, Medicaid and most private health plans will generally pay for hospice services if your doctor says you're eligible.

Check your member benefits for your insurance coverage. In the Lower Columbia Region, CMH's Lower Columbia Hospice program is available by calling 503.338.6230

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