Frequently Asked Questions2021-12-21T10:09:40-05:00

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about hospice care. If you have additional questions, contact us.

WHEN IS IT TIME TO CALL HOSPICE?2021-12-21T10:58:10-05:00

The earlier you call, the more we can do to help you. At any time during a serious illness, it’s appropriate to discuss all of the patient’s care options, including hospice. By law, the decision belongs to the patient. Hospice staff members are always available to discuss this decision with the patient, family and physician.

SHOULD WE WAIT FOR OUR PHYSICIAN TO RECOMMEND HOSPICE CARE?2021-12-21T10:58:10-05:00

The patient and family should feel free to discuss care at any time with their physician, other healthcare professionals, clergy or friends.

WHAT IF OUR PHYSICIAN DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT HOSPICE?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

Most physicians know about hospice. If your physician wants more information, it is available from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, medical societies, state hospice organizations and local hospices.

WHY DO FAMILIES CHOOSE HOSPICE CARE?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

Hospice focuses on pain and symptom control in addition to providing emotional, social and spiritual support for patients and families. Words commonly used to describe hospice include compassion, comfort, respect, dignity and love. We believe every patient deserves dignity, compassion, and respect.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOME HEALTH CARE BENEFITS AND HOSPICE BENEFITS?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

This helpful chart shows the difference between services and what is paid for under the home health care versus hospice benefits.

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS FOR SENIOR LIVING?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

There are the most common options for senior living.

WHAT IF THEY IMPROVE? CAN WE STOP HOSPICE AFTER IT IS STARTED?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

Certainly. If improvement in the condition occurs and the disease seems to be in remission, the patient can be discharged from hospice. Patients can choose to stop hospice care or change their hospice provider once during each period of care. Benefit periods are defined as first 90 days, second 90 days and unlimited 60-day periods.

HOW IS THE PATIENT ADMITTED TO HOSPICE?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

One of the first things hospice will do is contact the patient’s physician to make sure he or she agrees that hospice care is appropriate for this patient at this time. The patient will also be asked to sign consent forms. The hospice election form explains that the patient understands that the care is palliative (aimed at pain relief and symptom control) rather than curative and outlines the services available.

WHO PAYS FOR HOSPICE CARE?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

The first thing we will do is assist you in finding out whether the patient is eligible for coverage. The Medicare hospice benefit covers the cost of hospice care. Medicaid and private insurance companies also often cover hospice services. Patients who have no coverage or other available resources may be admitted under a charity program after a financial assessment.

WHAT WILL I NEED TO BE READY FOR HOSPICE CARE TO COME TO OUR HOME?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

We will assess your needs, recommend any necessary equipment and help make arrangements to obtain it. Often the need for equipment is minimal at first and increases as the disease progresses.

WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY BENEFITS OF HOSPICE CARE?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

This comprehensive list details the benefits of hospice care.

HOW MANY FAMILY MEMBERS OR FRIENDS WILL I NEED TO CARE FOR A PATIENT AT HOME?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

There is no set number. One of the first things we will do is prepare an individualized care plan that will address the amount of caregiving the patient needs.

HOW IS HOSPICE CARE DELIVERED?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

Our hospice team makes regular visits to assess the patient and provide care. The hospice staff has clinicians on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

WILL I NEED SOMEONE TO BE WITH THE PATIENT AT ALL TIMES?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

This depends on the individual’s physical limitations. Your hospice nurse will assess the needs and offer recommendations.

WHAT EXACTLY WILL BE PROVIDED BY HOSPICE?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

A team of physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors, home health aides, clergy, therapists and volunteers care for hospice patients, and each provides assistance based on his or her area of expertise. In addition, hospice provide medications, supplies, equipment, inpatient hospice, hospice services and additional helpers in the home as appropriate. We can assist with the following services:

  • Physician-directed services
  • Nursing care
  • Spiritual Care
  • Social work
  • Certified nursing assistants
  • Medical equipment
  • Medical supplies
  • Medications related to the hospice diagnosis and related conditions
  • Pain management
  • Symptom control management
  • Counseling services
  • Volunteer support
  • Bereavement support
  • Other therapies as needed
WHERE IS HOSPICE CARE PROVIDED?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

We provide care in a variety of places including:

  • Patient’s home or apartment
  • Friend or relative’s home
  • Assisted living
  • Nursing home
  • Short-term, inpatient hospital
  • Senior living
WHAT LEVELS OF CARE ARE OFFERED?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

Hospice patients may require differing intensities of care. These levels include:

  • Routine care
  • Respite care
  • Crisis care
  • General inpatient care

This brief article provides a more detailed explanation of these levels of care.

WHAT DISEASES REQUIRE HOSPICE CARE?2021-12-21T10:58:11-05:00

These are the most common end stage diseases associated with hospice care:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • CHF/CAD
  • Liver/renal disease
  • Pulmonary disease
  • COPD/emphysema
  • AIDS/HIV
  • Neurological diseases
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Parkinson’s
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia
WHAT SYMPTOMS INDICATE THAT HOSPICE CARE IS NEEDED?2021-12-21T10:58:12-05:00

The symptoms below may mean that hospice care is right for your family.

  • Increased pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent infections
  • Recurrent hospitalizations
  • Weight Loss
  • Decline in ability to function
  • Cognitive decline
  • Non-healing wounds
DOES HOSPICE DO ANYTHING TO MAKE DEATH COME SOONER?2021-12-21T10:58:12-05:00

Hospice provides its presence and specialized knowledge during the dying process but does nothing to either speed up or slow down the dying process.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY LOVED ONE IS ELIGIBLE FOR HOSPICE CARE?2021-11-24T10:50:57-05:00

This useful article provides detailed information on eligibility and indications of when hospice care is needed.

HOW DOES HOSPICE MANAGE PAIN?2021-11-24T10:50:35-05:00

Our nurses and doctors are up to date on the latest medications and devices for pain and symptom relief. Using a combination of medications, counseling and therapies, most patients can attain a level of comfort that is acceptable to them. We believe that emotional and spiritual pain are just as real and in need of attention as physical pain, so we address these as well. Counselors, including clergy, are available to assist family members as well as patients.

WILL MEDICATIONS PREVENT THE PATIENT FROM BEING ABLE TO TALK OR KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING?2021-11-24T10:50:07-05:00

Usually not. It is our goal to help patients be comfortable and alert by constantly consulting with the patient. We have been successful in reaching this goal.

IS HOSPICE CARE AFFILIATED WITH ANY RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION?2021-11-24T10:49:46-05:00

No. While some religious organizations have started hospices, we serve a broad community and do not require patients to adhere to any particular set of beliefs.

DOES HOSPICE PROVIDE HELP TO THE FAMILY AFTER THE PATIENT DIES?2021-11-24T10:49:10-05:00

Yes, our bereavement program offers spiritual and emotional support to family members after the death of their loved one for 13 months. The amount of contact is determined by the needs and wishes of the patient’s family.

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