Who can receive hospice care?  
Any person facing the advancing stages of any terminal illness is eligible for care.  Hospice care is appropriate when a patient has a terminal prognosis with an estimate of six months or less to live, and curative treatments have been completed.

Patients with any terminal condition and of any age are eligible.

How do I pay for hospice care?
Hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance. No one is denied hospice care due to lack of insurance or inability to pay.

Where is hospice care provided?
Hospice services can be provided to the patient wherever they live.  A patient living in a nursing facility or long-term care facility can receive specialized visits from the hospice team in addition to other care and services provided by the nursing facility. 

Who provides hospice care?
Hospice care is a team approach - your physician, the hospice medical director, a registered nurse, a social worker, a chaplain are assigned to the team.  The team may also include a nurses aide and/or a volunteer.  While we teach, support, and encourage the patient's loved ones and caregivers, it is important to note we are not able to provide bedside nursing care around-the-clock.

Is hospice available after hours?
Hospice care is available ‘on-call’ after the administrative office has closed, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.  A nurse is always available to respond to a call for help.  A chaplain and social worker are also on call during evenings and weekends.

How does hospice work to keep the patient comfortable?
Many patients  have pain and other serious symptoms as illness progresses.  Hospice staff receive special training to care for all types of physical and emotional symptoms that cause pain, discomfort, and distress.  Hospice staff works with the patient’s physician to make sure that medication, therapies, and procedures are designed to achieve the goals outlined in the patient’s care plan.  The care plan is reviewed frequently to make sure any changes and new goals are in the plan.

What role does the hospice volunteer serve?
Hospice volunteers are generally available to provide different types of support to patients and their loved ones including preparing light meals, staying with a patient to give family members a break, and lending emotional support and companionship to patients and family members.  Volunteers are carefully screened, interviewed and provided training before they begin to see patients.

Does hospice do anything to make death come more quickly? 
Hospice recognizes and supports a natural death and neither hastens nor postpones the dying process. 

Will medications prevent the patient from being able to talk or know what is happening?  
Usually not.  It is the goal of hospice to allow the patient to be pain free but alert.