As a 28-year hospice volunteer and trainer of new volunteers, I can tell you that Julia hit on one of the most crucial points about hospice care: not all hospices are the same. There are some very good ones and some really poor ones.
You might want to check out my blog post on how to choose a really good hospice:
Yes, it is true that hospice will not provide 24 hour care. But what you get is effectively free: all medical supplies and coverage for all drugs related to the patient's diagnosis, nursing care, home health care, 24-hour on-call nurses, hospice doctor, volunteer respite, massage/ Reiki/Healing Touch and other alternative modalities (depending on the hospice), spiritual support from a chaplain... In return, you agree to sign over whatever medical benefits you have to the hospice organization. Yes, hospice takes those payments-- but in my experience , a good hospice spends far more per patient than whatever small reimbursements they receive from the patient's medical insurance and provides care that is so much more comprehensive.
Hospice is all about palliative care and creating a comfortable, peaceful, safe environment for the patient and the family. in those domains, the care one receives from hospice is light years beyond the conventional medical system. But consumer beware: not all hospices are the same. As Julia's experience shows, choose wisely (most communities have several choices, and in my experience, the more choices available to you, the more wary you should be) and be ready to fire if you feel uncomfortable in any way.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Blessings on your journey,