Frequently Asked Questions About Hospice

The Denver Hospice has set the standard for hospice and grief support in the greater Denver area since 1978. Our non-profit, community-based hospice serves nine counties and is committed to patient and family-centered care for individuals facing a terminal illness.

What is Hospice?

Hospice care provides comfort and support to patients with advanced illness and their families. The goal of hospice care is to improve the quality of life for patients by addressing each patient’s physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs. Considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness, hospice care involves a team-oriented approach to deliver expert medical care, manage pain, and support emotional and spiritual needs expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes.

Learn more about hospice care. 

Who can receive hospice care?

Hospice care is for anyone who has a condition that is considered terminal—the person will live six months or less if the disease or condition runs its normal course. The patient, family and physicians understand that the focus of hospice care is on pain, symptom management and comfort and not a cure. 

Can I still use my own doctor?

Hospice physicians work closely with your doctor to determine a plan of care. 

How is hospice care paid for?

Medicare pays for hospice services. Most insurance plans, HMOs and managed care plans include hospice coverage. The Denver Hospice has programs to care for indigent and uninsured patients.

Learn more about paying for hospice. 

What if I enter hospice and change my mind?

If a person changes his or her mind, he or she can be discharged from hospice and return to regular treatment with their health care system.

When should a decision be made to enter hospice...and who makes it?

At any time during a life-threatening illness when a cure is not possible, it is appropriate to discuss hospice. The decision belongs to the patient, family and the physician. Hospice care is most beneficial when there is sufficient time to manage symptoms and establish a trusting relationship.

Learn more about the hospice decision.

What services does hospice care cover?

Hospice care covers routine home visits by a nurse, social worker, chaplain and certified nursing assistant. A dietitian, volunteer, pharmacist and hospice medical director are also part of the team. A physical and occupational therapist may be consulted. Medications related to the terminal diagnosis are covered, along with medical supplies, equipment and some personal care items. Nutritional supplements as directed by the dietician or physician are also covered.

While not all hospices offer integrative therapies, The Denver Hospice provides music and art therapy, massage, aromatherapy, comfort touch and Reiki, and animal activity visits. Learn more about integrative therapies.

Does hospice provide support to the family after a loved one dies?

Trained counselors in The Denver Hospice Grief Center provide support following the death of a loved one. Our Footprints Children’s Grief Center offers support to children ages 3-18, including anticipatory grief. It is the only program of its kind in Denver.

Is The Denver Hospice affiliated with any religious organizations?

The Denver Hospice serves patients of every faith, regardless of personal beliefs or religion. Our chaplains are educated in a variety of spiritualties.

Does The Denver Hospice serve veterans?

About 30% of our patients are military veterans. The Denver Hospice participates in the national “We Honor Veterans” program and is a preferred hospice provider of the Veteran’s Administration. We have achieved the highest level of “We Honor Veterans”.

Learn more about our veterans program.

How does a person get admitted to hospice?

A physician agrees that hospice care is appropriate and makes a referral. Our staff then makes an appointment to visit the patient and conduct an assessment. Once a consent form is signed, a plan of care is discussed.