Learn more about hospice care by reviewing these frequently asked questions:
What services does hospice provide?
Our Hospice program provides an interdisciplinary team approach to care of patients and families experiencing the final phase of life. Hospice is not a place. It is a comprehensive approach to care including the physiological, sociological, educational, spiritual and emotional needs of the patient and family. The hospice team includes the patient's physician, the hospice medical director, nursing, social work, a chaplain and trained volunteers.
- Care of the patient and family, which includes pain and symptom management during the last weeks and months of the patient's life.
- Support services and case management for cancer and advanced disease patients and their families during the terminal phase of the patient's illness.
- Bereavement and counseling support to assist family members and significant others in the grief process that occurs with the terminal illness and death of a loved one.
- Education and presentations to inform community members about hospice care, pain and symptom management, grieving and bereavement.
Who can get hospice care?
Patients of any age with a terminal illness are eligible to receive hospice services. The patient's doctor 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 is 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. Hospice staff members are available to discuss these concerns with the patient, family and doctor.
Where is hospice care provided?
Most hospice services are provided in the home. The hospice 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, the hospice staff may arrange for short-term inpatient care.