Hospice Q and A

JHACO_GoldSealQuestions and Answers

A lot of the fears associated with hospice care are the result of misunderstandings or incorrect assumptions. Providence understands the emotions surrounding a hospice decision. The questions listed below are very common. We hope the answers we’ve provided will help address your concerns and relieve your fears. If you have a question we haven’t answered below, or if you’d like more information, feel free to email hospice@provlife.com. A sensitive, knowledgeable staff member will reply directly.

Does choosing hospice
mean I’m giving up hope?

It may be more accurate to say that Hospice is about redefining hope. You may hope to be pain-free, or to see an old friend one more time, or to stay at home rather than going to a hospital. Your Providence Hospice team can help you achieve those hopes and focus on making the most of the life that remains.

Does choosing hospice mean
I’m going to die soon?

Hospice care is usually prescribed when your doctor believes your illness is terminal. But accepting Hospice care does not hasten your death. In fact, in many cases, people who accept hospice care earlier have a better chance that their condition will stabilize. If that becomes the case, you can come off hospice until you need it again.

If I choose hospice, does that mean I’m rejecting medical treatment?

With hospice, the medical treatment you receive will be focused on relieving pain and making you comfortable. It is not curative in nature. However, if your condition starts to improve while you’re on hospice, you always have the right to return to traditional care at any time, for any reason. You can be discharged from hospice at any time, and you can be readmitted again if you choose.

What is the difference between hospice care and palliative care?

“Hospice” is really a more general term that refers to the care and resources that are available through the Hospice Benefit. The Hospice Benefit can include palliative care, but palliative care is also available to people who are not on hospice. Palliative care is also known as “comfort care,” because the goal is to make a patient more comfortable. A cancer patient, for example, might receive palliative care while she is undergoing chemo or other treatments. The palliative care is not intended to cure the cancer; it is intended to relieve the symptoms of the treatments. If this same patient decided to discontinue treatment and go on hospice, she could continue to receive palliative care. In this case, the goal of the palliative care would simply be to make her as comfortable as possible. Providence Hospice does offer palliative care.

Is hospice only for cancer patients?

It’s true that cancer is a leading cause of death, and many cancer patients do choose hospice care after treatments have failed. But many other terminal diagnoses can benefit from hospice care. Providence Hospice clients have included people with heart disease, lung disease, dementia, kidney disease, and liver disease.

Does hospice provide 24-hour care?

The Providence Hospice team is available 24 hours a day to meet our patients’ needs.

Does hospice require Medicare or Medicaid?

In Illinois, several methods of payment are available for hospice care. Both Medicare and Medicaid include a Hospice Benefit that covers all costs related to the hospice diagnosis — the hospice team, durable medical equipment, medical supplies, and medications. The social workers at Providence Hospice know how to access those benefits. In addition, most private insurance plans include Hospice care as a benefit.

Does my doctor decide what Hospice program I will use?

In order to receive hospice care, you must have a physician’s order that certifies your terminal diagnosis, but you have the right to choose the hospice you feel most comfortable with. Providence Hospice is licensed in both Indiana and Illinois.

Aren’t all hospice programs pretty much the same?

Certain services are common to all licensed hospice programs, but operating styles and care philosophies may vary. Providence Hospice is a faith-based organization, and that impacts the way we deliver care and interact with family members. It also means we have a Hospice Chaplain available for people who need prayer and guidance regarding end-of-life preparations.

In addition, Providence Hospice understands that a terminal diagnosis can be difficult for the whole family. Our caregivers provide care for the patient, but also comfort, and support for the whole family. In fact, we offer bereavement support to the family for an entire year after a death.

If you’re ready to get more information about hospice care from Providence Hospice: