Certain experiences throughout my practice move me to stray away from my column’s typical question & answer format. I was recently privileged to learn about the numerous benefits Hospice offers to families. I want to share my intellectual findings with my readers.

I thought Hospice solely administered medication to make people who were dying evidently feel more comfortable. However, Hospice positively impacts the quality of one’s life during their final journey and assists the individual’s family and friends to cope during this difficult period.

There is not just one Hospice organization. The state of Massachusetts recognizes approximately 50 licensed Hospice care organizations, covering so many cities and towns. In total, Hospice care providers serve over 17,000 patients every year. This astounding figure comprises approximately one-third of the yearly deaths throughout Massachusetts. While the average length of patient care tends to be approximately three weeks, a Hospice referral can be given if the patient’s illness provides a prognosis of 6 months or less.

Hospice Care, Inc of Woburn is one organization serving most cities and towns within the reach of its publication. The company prides itself strictly on the progress made by its veterans’ outreach program. Beyond veteran patients treated essentially in local VA hospitals, most Hospice care can be provided in the patients’ homes.

Hospice is a benefit covered by Medicaid, Medicare, Veterans Administration, or Commercial Insurance Carriers. Hospice provides all medications Medicaid and medical equipment related to an individual’s terminal diagnosis. Certain providers, even go above and beyond to provide its service free of charge to individuals who do not have insurance.

Upon receiving a referral for patient care, a Hospice care coordinator will meet with a patient and their subjective family. They will do this to develop a plan addressing the following matters: zero tolerance pain management; settlement of legal and personal affairs; spiritual support to the patient and deprivation support to survivors. Hospice Care, Inc. plans for and treats the process of their patients’ death similarly to how a hospital would address the birth of a child. One Hospice official highlights, “birth and death are very personal events in life.” “Both of which are events that should not be experienced alone, but with the support and presence of the patient’s family and friends.”

Attorney James Haroutunian practices real estate law, estate planning and small business formation in Billerica at 790 Boston Road. Contact him with questions at 978-671-0711; via his website www.hlawoffice.com, or by email: james@hlawoffice.com.