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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

How do I add a new question?When and who should make a decision about entering hospice?

To add a new question go to app settings and press "Manage Questions" button.At any time during a life-limiting illness, you can, and should, discuss care options, including hospice. By law, the decision belongs to the patient. We are available anytime to discuss your options.

Should I wait for the physician to raise the subject of hospice?

You do not need to wait to discuss hospice care with a physician, other healthcare professionals, clergy or friends. You have a right to be treated according to your wishes – and should make your wishes known.

What if our physician doesn’t know about hospice?

Most physicians know about hospice care. However, more information is available from the Academy of Hospice Physicians, medical societies, state hospice organizations or the National Hospice Helpline (800.658.8898).

Can hospice patients who show signs of recovery return to regular medical

Certainly. If the patient’s condition improves and the disease seems to be in remission, patients can be discharged from Hospice of the Calumet Area and return to therapy. If the discharged patient should later need to return to hospice care, Medicare and most private insurance will allow additional coverage for this purpose.

What does hospice admission involve?

First, we contact your physician to make sure he or she agrees that hospice care is appropriate. You’ll be asked to sign consent and insurance forms. The “Hospice Election Form” states that you understand the care is palliative (aimed at pain relief and symptom control) rather than curative, and outlines services available.

Are changes in the home or special equipment needed?

We assess your needs and make the arrangements to obtain the necessary equipment. In general, we will assist in any way we can to make home care as convenient and safe as possible.

How many family members or friends are needed to care for a patient at home?

There is no set number. Your individualized care will address the amount of caregiving needed. Hospice personnel visit regularly and are always accessible to answer medical questions and provide support.

Must someone be with the patient at all times?

In the early weeks of care, it is usually not necessary. Later, however, since one of the most common fears of patients is that of dying alone, we generally recommend that someone be there continuously.

What specific assistance does hospice provide home-based patients?

A team consisting of a doctor, nurses, social workers, counselors, aides, spiritual counselors, therapists and volunteers cares for our patients. We also provide medications, supplies and equipment.

Does hospice do anything to make death come sooner?

Hospice neither hastens nor postpones the dying process. Just as doctors and midwives lend support and expertise during the time of birth, the hospice team provides specialized knowledge to help you live your last chapter of life as fully as possible.

Is the patient's home the only place hospice care can be delivered?

No. Although 90 percent of our care is provided in a personal residence, some patients live in assisted living, nursing homes or our William J. Riley Memorial Residence.

How does hospice manage pain?

Hospice is a philosophy of care which believes that emotional and spiritual pain is just as real and in need of attention as physical pain, so we address them all. Our doctors and nurses are up-to-date on the latest therapies for pain and symptom relief. Physical and occupational therapists may assist you to be as mobile and self-sufficient as possible, and they are joined by specialists in massage and diet counseling.

Will medications prevent patients from being able to talk or know what’s happening?

Not usually. We’ve seen how keeping patients pain-free and alert enables the last phase of life to be a cherished time of healing and peace.

What is Hospice of the Calumet Area’s success rate in battling pain?

Very high. Using some combination of medications, counseling and therapies, most patients can be kept pain-free and comfortable.

How is hospice paid for?

Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance cover all services and supplies for the hospice patient, and Hospice of the Calumet Area does not require any Medicare co-payments.

What if I’m not covered by Medicare or other health insurance?

Hospice of the Calumet Area will provide for anyone who can’t pay thanks to the generous contributions from our donors.

Is hospice affiliated with any religious organization?

No. While some churches and religions have started hospices (sometimes in connection with their hospitals), Hospice of the Calumet Area serves a broad community and does not require patients to adhere to any particular set of beliefs.

Is there help for the family after the patient dies?

Hospice of the Calumet Area provides continuing contact and support for family and friends for at least a year following the death of a loved one. Knowing the struggles of learning to live again without a cherished person in your life, our bereavement support is available to anyone in our community, regardless if their loved ones were in our care or not.

How difficult is caring for a dying loved one?

It is never easy and sometimes may be quite hard. At the end of a long, progressive illness, nights especially can be long and lonely. We have staff available around the clock to call for support, including night visits if the need arises.

Looking for more information? Contact us today with any questions about how we can help you.