Hospice

Hospice

Hospice is a special kind of care that offers comfort and support to individuals who are facing any type of life-limiting illness. Your decision to choose hospice care is important. When you realize there is no cure and you no longer want to seek aggressive treatment, Hospice facilitates a shift to comfort-oriented care that focuses on quality of life.

The majority of hospice care is provided in the patient's home, the home of a loved one, or in a contracted nursing home. Specially trained medical professionals deliver the care. Their goal is to reduce the patient's pain and control their symptoms, resulting in improved quality of remaining life. Hospice care also includes support for the emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and their loved ones.

If you have questions or simply want to talk with a hospice team member, please call us at 800-841-9397.

To help you decide whether it’s time to consider hospice care, see the questions below. We can help you think through what’s best for you and your family.

Have you or a loved one?

1. Had repeated hospitalizations or trips to the emergency room in the last six months?

2. Used medication more frequently to ease pain symptoms?

3. Needed help with two or more of the following?

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Eating
  • Walking
  • Getting out of bed or chair

4.  Had unexplained weight loss or decreased appetite in the last year?

5. Had shortness of breath while resting?

6. Experienced an inability to ‘bounce back’ after medical exacerbations?

No matter how you answered these questions, please contact us to learn more about Community Nurses Hospice care and support.

About Hospice

  • The fundamental principle of hospice is that each of us has the right to live each day pain free and with dignity.
  • Hospice care is available to any person at any age.
  • After a diagnosis of life-limiting illness, patients and their families should consider their choices for care. A patient does not have to be bed-bound or critically ill to be admitted to hospice. A hospice representative would be happy to talk with you or your family about the hospice option.
  • Admission requirements for hospice care are: consent of attending physician, life expectancy of six months of less, goal of comfort care rather than cure, philosophy of allowing death to occur naturally without extraordinary intervention, arrangements for a capable caregiver, residence in the geographic area served by a hospice
  • Hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, managed care (including HMOs), private health insurance, other third-party payers or private payers.
  • Hospice care does not automatically end after six months. Medicare and most other insurers will continue to pay for hospice care as long as a physician certifies that the patient continues to have a limited life expectancy.
  • Occasionally, the quality of care provided by hospice leads to substantially improved health, and life expectancy exceeds six months. When this happens, the patient can leave hospice and if they wish, return to curative treatment. Hospice will also assist with connecting the patient to other resources in the community if needed. Later, when patients once again become eligible for hospice, they can re-elect the hospice benefit.
  • When morphine and other pain control medications are administered properly for medical reasons, patients find much-needed relief without getting "high" or craving drugs. The result is that hospice patients remain more alert and active because they are not exhausted by uncontrolled symptoms. Hospice physicians and nurses know which medications to use to provide the best results for each patient.
  • Hospice recognizes that people are more than a collection of symptoms. People nearing the end of their lives often face an enormous emotional and spiritual distress. They are dismayed as their physical abilities begin to fail. They don’t want to be a burden on their families. They worry how their loved ones will manage without them. Sometimes, they feel deep regret about things they have done or said – or things left undone and unsaid. Hospice professionals and volunteers are trained to be active listeners and to help patients and families work through some of these concerns so that they can find peace and emotional comfort in their final days.
  • Hospice staff members are available by phone at all times, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.