Senior Citizen's Guide to Cleveland 19 • Needs assistance to live independently due to illness, disability or aging, or has a condition such as congestive heart failure, diabetes and muscular, nervous or respiratory disorders. What is Hospice? Hospice is a specialized service that provides care and support for persons in the last phases of a terminal illness. Hospice recognizes dying as part of the normal process of living and focuses on maintaining the quality of remaining life. Who Pays for Home Care or Hospice Services? Services are reimbursed by both private and public sources. Public payors include Medicaid, Medicare and PASSPORT. A growing number of private insurance plans also provide reimbursement. Care also may be paid directly by the patient or the patient’s family. How Do I Select the Right Agency? Finding the home care or hospice agency best suited for your needs requires research but it is time well spent. Important factors include the quality of care, availability of needed services, personnel training and expertise, and coverage provided by the payor. Fortunately most communities have a variety of agencies to choose from. To locate an agency in your area, please visit the Ohio Council for Home Care website , and you will be able to find agencies listed by county. You also may contact the Ohio Departments of Health and Aging. If your community has information and referral services, such as the United Way, check with them. Your place of religious worship or other trusted professionals, such as physicians, also may have information about local home care and hospice agencies. Editorial provided by the Ohio Council for Home Care, .