FAQs About Hospice
There’s much you’d like to understand when considering hospice. You’re not alone. Explore answers to frequently asked questions about hospice services.
Yes. Common signs include:
- An increase in pain, nausea or breathing distress.
- Repeated hospitalizations or emergency room visits.
- Assistance for daily functions like eating, walking, using the toilet.
- Not bouncing back after a medical setback.
- Experiencing a significant decrease in appetite or weight loss.
Yes. You don’t need a physician referral to talk with us for information. If it appears hospice is beneficial, we will, with your permission, contact your physician to discuss it.
Hospice neither hastens nor postpones dying. Our physicians and nurses simply offer our expertise and knowledge during the dying process.
We provide training to empower family members to provide care to the extent they’re able. We guide them through their role in the end-of-life journey. We’re available in regularly scheduled visits and are on stand-by 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Our support continues past death. We can help family during the grieving process with support groups, counseling services, community outreach programs, and even phone calls and home visits.
Hospice services are covered under Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurances. Coverage includes medications, supplies and medical equipment needed. Inpatient room and board charges are not normally covered by Medicare and most private insurances; however, financial assistance is available for those who qualify. Learn more about financial assistance programs.
We seek to address all kinds of pain – physical, emotional or spiritual. We work with you to first assess your pain. Together, with your family, we’ll establish your pain control goals. Our nurses are experts on the latest medications for pain and symptom relief, and you’ll be carefully monitored.
Physical and occupational therapists can help you keep moving to minimize discomfort resulting from inactivity.
Our social workers can help deal with emotional issues as they arise, while our chaplains provide non-denominational spiritual guidance, if you wish.
Other techniques have also been found to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Among them are massage and aromatherapy.
Absolutely not. By choosing hospice, you’re acknowledging the disease may have advanced beyond a cure. The focus shifts to enabling quality of life through comfort, support, and providing peace of mind.
Yes. With most medical care, the focus is on making you well. Once hospice care is chosen, the focus shifts to pain control, comfort, and emotional and spiritual support rather than a cure.
We focus not only on the person who’s terminally ill, but the entire family or support system. We empower caregivers to be involved in their loved one’s care.
Our support to the family continues past their loved one’s death. For at least one year, we remain in contact, offering support like grief counseling and support groups.
Anyone diagnosed with a terminal illness who has a life expectancy of six months or less can be referred to hospice care. Many patients who suffer from life-limiting diseases can benefit from our expert pain and symptom control, as well as emotional, social, and spiritual support. Some common diagnoses for people referred to hospice care are:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Liver Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Renal or Respiratory / Pulmonary Disease
Caregivers of people who are terminally ill need support. Exhaustion, isolation, difficult emotions, and feeling generally overwhelmed are all signs you and your loved one could benefit from hospice.
Caring for yourself and your family is just as important as caring for the person who’s nearing the end of life.
Whether or not to be involved in hospice care remains your choice at any stage. You can always change your mind.
If you decide at some point you want to pursue curative treatment for your illness, or you decide you just don’t want hospice care anymore, you may choose to come off hospice care at any time without penalties. You also may elect to resume hospice care at a later date.
Occasionally, a patient’s condition improves when they receive hospice care. When this happens, the patient can return to aggressive therapy or go on with their daily life. If the patient becomes eligible for hospice care again, Medicare and most private insurance allow additional coverage for this purpose.
We offer our patients and their families a coordinated approach to care. Our hospice care team includes many caring and skilled individuals highly trained in end-of-life care.
- Physicians and skilled nurses manage pain and symptoms.
- Social workers provide a listening ear, resources, and emotional support.
- Home health aides assist with personal care.
- Trained volunteers support the patient so caregivers can enjoy well-deserved breaks.
- Respite care services available.
- Chaplains offer spiritual support to patients and families alike.
- A nurse is always available to patients and families 24 hours a day should any questions or emergencies arise.
There isn’t a wrong time. Call to ask questions even if you’re not sure if you or your loved one is ready for hospice. Call if you have a doctor’s referral to hospice. Call if you’ve already used hospice support for a loved one who has passed away. We’re here with information, support, and guidance.
Hospice is a care philosophy. You'll get hospice services that reflect this philosophy in our Ebeid Hospice Residence facility, or wherever you call home.
While there’s no hard and fast rule for choosing to pursue hospice care, we can offer you a few guidelines for your decision.
- You should consider the prognosis that you or your loved one is given. A patient may be eligible to receive hospice care when a chronic or malignant illness has caused a prognosis of six months or less.
- Hospice is also something to think about when you and your family have chosen palliative or comfort care measures rather than aggressive, curative treatment for illness.
- Certain conditions — such as AIDS, Alzheimer’s, cancer, cardiovascular disease, liver or renal disease, or diseases that lead to multiple system failure — are associated with a need for hospice care. However, this list is not all-inclusive, and those diseases and conditions do not always indicate a need for hospice.
Many times physicians are the first to mention hospice care. However, some physicians hesitate to bring up hospice. Some diseases, like congestive heart failure or lung disease, make it difficult to predict the rate of a patient’s decline. It’s important to talk openly with your doctor and share your goals for maintaining quality of life. And, you can always contact us.
Well-mannered pets are welcome to come for a visit but they cannot stay.
You may also see our certified therapy dogs visiting Ebeid patients to offer comfort, support and companionship.
Yes. Our team is available to speak to groups about end-of-life topics including benefits of hospice, dying and grieving, as well as ethical considerations that sometimes occur at the end of life.
If you have additional questions or would like to speak to someone from our hospice team, please call 419-824-7400.