ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A local hospital is helping to dunk some myths about hospice care.

Former President Jimmy Carter recently opted for hospice care, which aims to make him as comfortable as possible in his remaining time.

OSF explained that this specialized medical care is comfort-based, allowing the patient to spend time at home and do things that they enjoy.

The goal is to offer support during a crucial time.

“Hospice is just an amazing way for us to help people really write that last chapter of their life,” said Dr. Sarah Whelan, medical director of OSF Hospice and Outpatient Palliative Care. “Nobody really knows what chronic illnesses are going to come up in their life, what diseases they are going to face, but when those challenges do come, we want to be there to help.”

There are over 3,000 hospice programs in the U.S. There is evidence that hospice care can minimally prolong life for a few weeks to a month, according to some research.

“I think hospice care is extra patient focused. You know in health care we’re always patient focused and we focus on what the patient wants in their goals, but I feel like in hospice care, we take it an extra step,” Whelan said. “We really find out what you want, what are your goals, what’s bothering you, and that can be anything from medical to emotional and mental or spiritual, and we try to address all of those issues.”