What is Hospice?
Hospice is a patient-centered, family-oriented approach to care for anyone in the advanced stages of a life-limiting illness. By combining careful pain and symptom management with spiritual and emotional support, hospice enables patients to live out the remainder of their days in comfort and dignity, surrounded by those they love. For patients, hospice care does not hasten death nor prolong life, but allows the illness to take its natural course. For families, hospice provides extensive grief resources, both before and after the loss of a loved one.
Is hospice care only for the elderly?
Hospice care is available to people of all ages, including children, who have been diagnosed with a progressive or life-limiting illness.
Who decides if hospice care is needed?
Together, the physician, patient and family determine when hospice care is needed and what services are necessary. A patient can receive hospice care when a life-limiting illness is present, and life expectancy is six months or less if the disease follows its normal course.
What is Carroll Hospice’s service area?
We serve patients residing in Baltimore, Carroll & Frederick counties in Maryland and Adams & York counties in Pennsylvania. We have also just gotten our license to provide care in Baltimore City.
When should hospice be contacted?
Hospice care is appropriate when curative treatments are no longer available or desired. The focus of hospice care is to keep the patient comfortable with pain management and symptom control as the illness progresses.
Who provides hospice care?
Care is provided by our team of registered nurses, certified home health aides, physicians, social workers, bereavement counselors, spiritual counselors, chaplains and volunteers, all with the goal of making patients as comfortable as possible while respecting their end-of-life wishes.
The hospice team works closely with patients and their families, ensuring that patients are involved in making their own health care decisions, while also helping families provide supportive care. Our on-call hospice team is available around the clock, seven days a week, and as necessary, for home visits.
What is the physician’s role in hospice care?
When a patient or his or her care provider wishes to access hospice care, two physicians must state that the patient meets hospice criteria, a terminal illness with a life expectancy of less than six months. Typically, the two physicians who sign this certification are the attending physician and the hospice physician. Upon admittance to hospice, both physicians play an important role in the patient’s plan of care. The hospice medical director and his or her team of health care professionals oversee care for all hospice patients.
For inpatient settings at the Dove House, hospice physicians see patients every day to provide care and symptom management. Attending physicians also are welcome to come in and visit with their patients.
Where can hospice care be provided?
Home: Most hospice care is provided where the patient lives: this can be a private home, nursing home, assisted living facility or hospital. This allows patients to receive the care they need in a familiar setting. Home hospice care is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If an immediate need arises, an on-call nurse will address the concern or make a home visit.
Inpatient Facility: If pain and symptom treatment can no longer be managed at home or a crisis occurs, hospice care may be provided at Dove House, Carroll Hospice’s inpatient facility. Dove House offers a warm, supportive environment to receive high-quality comfort-oriented care. Family and friends are encouraged to stay and visit with patients any time. Our door is always open, 24/7.
How is hospice paid for?
Carroll Hospice is a non-profit organization that provides hospice care services to all individuals in need regardless of insurance coverage or financial situation. No one is refused or denied hospice care, and every patient receives the same level of high-quality service. Hospice coverage is widely available and is covered by all insurance plans, including Medicare, Medicaid and VA.
How do I make a referral to hospice care?
You may also call Carroll Hospice directly at 410-871-8000 to make a referral.
For more information, contact Lisa Flannery at email@example.com or call 410-871-7223 to reach Lisa.
Article submitted by Lisa Flannery, MSRN Member