Learn more about hospice care by reviewing these FAQ:
What services does hospice provide?
Our Hospice program in Austin, Minnesota, provides an interdisciplinary team approach to care for patients and families experiencing the final phase of life. Hospice is not a place — it's a comprehensive approach to care including the physiological, sociological, educational, spiritual and emotional needs of the patient and family. The team includes the patient's primary care provider, Hospice medical director, nursing staff, social workers, chaplain and trained volunteers.
Other services include:
- Personal nurse care manager
- On-call, 24/7 nursing
- Pain and symptom management
- Music therapy
- Social work
- Spiritual care
- Physical, occupational and speech therapy
- Nutritional assessments
- Medical equipment, supplies and medications
- Respite care
- In-hospital care, as needed
- Bereavement and grief counseling support
Who can get hospice care?
Patients of any age with a terminal illness are eligible to receive hospice services. The patient's primary care provider and the Hospice medical director must certify the patient's condition is terminal, indicate a life expectancy of six months or less if the illness runs it's normal course and that the goal of care is comfort rather than cure.
When should hospice care start?
At any time during a terminal illness, it's appropriate to discuss all of a patient's care options, including hospice. Discussions that change the focus of care from curative to comfort can be difficult.
While hospice does not provide a cure, it does provide an option for an individual that focuses on comfort and quality of life. Our staff are available to discuss these concerns with the patient, family and health care provider.
Where is hospice care provided?
Most hospice services are provided in the home. Our team will make every effort to provide the services, support and equipment needed to maintain the patient in the home as long as the patient and family desire, and the patient can be adequately provided for in that setting. When the safety or comfort of the patient cannot be managed at home, or when the caregiver is unable to continue with home care, we may arrange for short-term inpatient care.