Hospice focuses on caring, not curing and in most cases care is provided in the patient’s home. Hospice services are available to patients of any age, race or religion. Anyone can inquire about hospice services. You or your loved one may call a local hospice and request services. Our hospice staff will then contact your physician so the referral can be completed and hospice care can begin. At this point, the hospice staff will then contact the patient or patient’s family to set up an initial meeting to review services and obtain consents for care. Usually, care can be initiated within a day or two, or sooner, in urgent situations.
Once hospice care is implemented, a family member typically serves as the primary caregiver and, when appropriate, helps makes decisions for the terminally ill individual. Members of the hospice staff make regular visits to assess the patient and provide additional care or other services. Hospice staff is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Through the collaborative efforts of our expert team of hospice professionals, all facets of palliative patient care and end-of-life concerns are managed with compassion and dignity.
The following criteria must be met for admission to the hospice program:
- Terminal illness with a prognosis limited to six months or less. All diagnoses are accepted as long as a six- month prognosis is established.
- Physician order for hospice care.
- Goals for care are pain and symptom control with a focus on quality of life.
- Emotional and spiritual support to embrace end of life issues.
- Patient has identified a primary caregiver or an alternate plan for managing care.