hospice FAQ's

What Is Hospice?

Hospice is a program of health care services designated to meet the special needs of patients and their loved ones, for comfort and palliative care when the patient is diagnosed with a disease for which they do not elect aggressive treatment.

Hospice care is for people who are nearing the end of life. Hospice care services are provided by a team of health care professionals who maximize comfort for a terminally ill person by reducing pain and addressing physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. To help families, hospice care also provides counseling, respite care and practical support. Unlike other medical care, the focus of hospice care isn't to cure the underlying disease. The goal of hospice care is to support the highest quality of life possible for whatever time remains.

Who Provides Care?

Care is delivered by a team of professionals who address the patient's needs on a medical, physical, emotional and spiritual level. The team consists of the patient's attending Physician, Hospice Medical Director, Registered Nurse, Home Health Aide, Social Worker, Chaplain, and Trained Volunteers. 

How is Hospice Care Started?

Help is only one phone call away. The attending physician, patient, family member, friends, clergy, social workers. hospital discharge planner, or any person concerned with a patient's well being must make a formal request or "referral".

An R.C. Hospice Care representative will make an effort to visit the patient within 48 hours of that referral, providing the visit meets the needs and schedule of the patient and family/primary caregiver.  Usually, hospice care is ready to begin within a day or two of the referral.  However, in urgent situations, hospice services may begin sooner.

Can Hospice Make a Difference?

Hospice can dramatically and positively impact quality of life. The goal is to empower the individual, by providing knowledge and information, to facilitate decision-making. Our clinical team members are experts on pain control and symptom management. They are committed to education of patients and caregivers. Hospice care has been shown to make people who have incurable illnesses feel better and live longer. Enrolling in hospice care early might help you or your loved one develop a strong relationship with the hospice staff, who can help with preparation for end-of-life needs.

Additional Resources

For more information about hospice care, you can visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and Mayo Clinic