You probably don’t know much about hospice care here in South Florida. But I’m sure you know someone like Stan.

He was born in South Florida and he’ll die in South Florida. When he developed lung disease, he was treated at one of the best hospitals in the world—here in South Florida, of course.

But Stan understands the progression of his disease. The last time he was rushed to the emergency room, he and his family agreed: no more.

He’s tired of procedures and pain and side effects. He wants to be home, with his family and his dog and the routine pleasures of his life.

When his doctor referred him to hospice, the family was apprehensive—just the word hospice is scary, his daughter says. But over the last seven weeks, Stan’s home hospice care team has become family.

His disease continues to progress, but Stan is comfortable. He spends time with the grandkids, shares his bed with his dog. With some help from the hospice social worker and chaplain, he’s even had some talks with his kids about how he wants to be remembered when he dies. His daughter wishes they’d known about home hospice sooner.

Hospice care doesn’t cure; it focuses on comfort and quality of life. Medicare and Medicaid pay for hospice services; virtually all private insurers and managed care plans do, too.

But Stan and his family aren’t worrying about bills. They’re focusing on what is important in their lives: each other.

(Provided by VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, serving patients and families in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Go to


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