Hospice – End of Life

If a family member has a terminal illness, it is never too early to learn about hospice and investigate hospice agencies as part of planning for health care.

Hospice is a philosophy of care that holds as fundamental a patient’s right to be treated with respect and dignity during his or her final period of life. The goal of hospice is to maintain the patient’s quality of life and to relieve pain and suffering as much as possible; and recognizes the important role family and friends play as caregivers, and will provide practical and other supports for them in that capacity. Hospice is also a specific package of services covered by Medicare in the United States.

To learn more about Hospice see these links: What Hospice Offers, How to Arrange Hospice, Considerations in FTD as well as those below.

Never Give Up: Fighting a Hospice Denial

Read one parent’s experience fighting a denial of hospice coverage and successfully ensuring continued access to this valuable service for their son and family.


An extensive search of multiple databases by Hospice of the Valley’s dementia team revealed the absence of published literature to guide clinicians struggling to prognosticate the last six months of life in persons with FTD; and the lack of specific criteria for appropriately initiating referrals for hospice services. The team invited several FTD clinicians and colleagues across the U.S. to share documented changes they observed over the last six months of life in their patients with FTD. A synthesis of these expert opinions revealed signs and symptoms that could serve as “red flags” signaling a final decline towards death to help clinicians initiate more timely referrals for hospice services. In 2011, Hospice of the Valley’s dementia team members: Maribeth Gallagher, DNP, Amy McLean, ANP and Rebekah Wilson, MSW presented a “Discussion on Hospice Care and End-of-Life Symptoms in frontotemporal degeneration (FTD)” to help FTD support group leaders address issues around hospice care that caregivers may bring up. Slides from their presentation are available at the link below.

Hospice and FTD Presentation