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Frequently Asked Questions

Are all hospices the same?
Can my pain and symptoms be controlled at home?
Does Hospice provide 24 hour in home care?
Where is hospice care provided?
Can I live alone and still receive Hospice services?
Can a hospice patient choose to return to curative treatment?
Can I go back to the hospital and still receive hospice care?
Is the decision for hospice care giving up hope or waiting to die?
Does hospice do anything to bring death sooner?
Do I have to be homebound to receive hospice services?
Does hospice provide support to the family after the patient dies?

Are all hospices the same?
No. "Hospice" is a medical specialty like pediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, etc. Each hospice is a different organization. All hospices have the same general philosophy but their services may differ.

Can pain and symptoms be controlled at home?
Yes. Pain and other symptoms can usually be controlled in the patient's home. If a symptom (i.e. pain, nausea or vomiting, or difficulty breathing) becomes a problem, the hospice nurse can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There have been great advances in pain and symptom control in the past few years. Most symptoms can be controlled without the use of injections or IV medication. The hospice nurse will assess your pain and symptom control at each visit.

Does Hospice provide 24 hour in home care?
No. Hospice provides intermittent nursing visits to assess, monitor and treat symptoms, as well as teach family and caregivers the skills they need to care for the patient. Team members are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions or visit anytime the need for support arises.

Where is hospice care provided?
Hospice care is provided in a setting that best meets the needs of each patient and family. The most common setting is the patient's home or the home of a relative. Hospice care is also provided in assisted living homes, nursing homes and hospitals according to patient care needs.

Can I live alone and still receive Hospice services?
Yes, although a plan must be in place for when you are unable to care for yourself.

Can a hospice patient choose to return to curative treatment?
Yes. Receiving hospice care is always a choice. A patient may leave hospice and return to curative treatment if that is their choice. If the patient later chooses to return to hospice care, Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance companies permit re-activation of the hospice benefit.

Can I go back to the hospital and still receive hospice care?
Yes. However, many symptoms that would normally require hospitalization or an emergency room visit can be successfully managed at home by the hospice team, thus preventing the stress of hospitalization. Hospice patients generally only have the need for short hospital stays to stabilize a symptom and then are able to return home.

Is the decision for hospice care giving up hope or waiting to die?
No. Hospice is about living. Hospice strives to bring quality of life and comfort to a patient and their family. Our successes are in helping a patient and family live fully until the end. Often patients will feel better with good pain and symptom management. Hospice is an experience of care and support, different from any other type of care.

Does hospice do anything to bring death sooner?
No. Our goal is always to alleviate suffering and manage symptoms. Hospice does nothing to speed up or slow down the dying process. Our role is to lend support and allow the disease process to unfold as comfortably as possible.

Do I have to be homebound to receive hospice services?
No. Hospice is about living fully. We encourage patients to do what they enjoy as they are able. The hospice team assists patients and families in achieving their goals and dreams as much as possible.

Does hospice provide support to the family after the patient dies?
Yes. Services may include personal visits, providing information concerning the grief process and offering periodic opportunities for group support. Bereavement services provide information and referral to other area resources when needed.

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