Click on the Common Hospice Diagnosis to review Signs & Symptoms for Eligibility
Unable to ambulate without assistance
Unable to dress without assistance
Intermittent or constant incontinence
Infections, skin wounds or weight loss
Shortness of breath at rest
Requires oxygen and declines artificial ventilation
Wheel chair or bed bound
Barely intelligible speech
Requires extensive self-care assistance
Weight loss, dehydration and no artificial feeding methods
Recurrent aspiration pneumonia, infections, fever or wounds
Poor response to or refusal of optimal treatment with diuretics, vasodilators and/or ACE inhibitors
Chest pain at rest that is resistant to therapy
Not a candidate for or refuses revascularization procedures
Minimal physical activity
Shortness of breath at rest
Shortness of breath at rest
Poor response to bronchodilators
Increased physician visits, ER or hospitalizations for pulmonary infections or respiratory failure
Decreased oxygen saturation
May also have heart failure, unintentional weight loss
Widespread, aggressive or progressive malignancy
Decreased mobility, activity or intake of food
Refuses further curative therapies or continues to decline despite treatment
Refuses dialysis or transplant
Significantly decreased kidney function
May also have lung or heart disease, infections, cancer or liver disease
Frequently Asked Questions
1) What is Hospice?
At Hope Hospice we believe that hospice is a choice for patients who have a life limiting illness and have decided it is time to focus on the quality of their lives. We take a compassionate, patient centered approach to providing holistic care -physical, emotional and spiritual – for our patients and their families. Hope recognizes that every person’s experience will be different so our hospice team creates a plan of care according to the individual needs and wishes of each patient. Our care emphasizes alleviating pain, enhancing quality of life and helping to make each day as full as possible.
2) How is Hospice paid for?
Hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and the majority of private insurances. Families can also choose to private pay for our services. However, through tremendous community support and generosity, Hope Hospice has created a Community Assistance Program to assist those in need of financial assistance. This unique program is designed to ensure no one is turned away because of ability to pay and that everyone has access to a dignified end of life journey free from financial burdens and stress.
3) Should I wait for my physician to initiate a hospice conversation?
One of the most common things we hear from families after being admitted to our care is that they wished they would have sought out our help sooner. We encourage families to discuss hospice at the first signs of a loved one’s decline. Talk to your physician, other healthcare providers and even your clergy and friends or feel free to contact Hope Hospice for free consultation. In our experience, families who have had time to understand all of their treatment options, to include hospice care, feel more confident and prepared for the future.
4) Where are the patients cared for?
Hospice cares for people where they live. Although some hospice care is provided in hospitals, in-patient hospice facilities or nursing homes, the vast majority of patients are cared for in the place they call home.
5) Is all hospice care the same?
Medicare requires certified hospices provide a basic level of care, but the quantity and quality of all services can vary significantly from one hospice to another. Hope has been providing individualized, compassionate care to families in this community for over thirty years. We encourage you to ask your friends, clergy or other healthcare providers what their experiences with Hope have been.
6) Can I go off of hospice services?
Of course! At any time during your care, you may opt to seek curative treatments. Also, if your condition improves and the disease seems to be in remission, you may be discharged and return to aggressive therapies or go on about your daily life. If you should later need to return to hospice care, we will be here for you.
7) How many friends or family members will it take to care for me at home?
There’s no set number. One of the first things we will do is prepare your individualized Care Plan that will, among other things, address the amount of caregiving you need. Your Care Plan will be routinely reviewed by your Care Team and amended as your needs change.
8) Does Hope provide care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
Our staff is on call for emergencies 24 hours a day. Hospice care does not include a nurse in the home 24/7. Some of our patients who require more than can be provided in the home are safer and more comfortable in a nursing facility, where Hope can provide the same hospice services as the in-home patients receive.
9) Does hospice do anything to make death come sooner?
Hospice neither hastens nor postpones dying. Just as doctors and midwives lend support and expertise during the time of pregnancy and childbirth, hospice provides its presence and specialized knowledge during the last months of life and through the dying process.
10) How does hospice “manage pain?”
Hope believes that emotional and spiritual pain are just as real and in need of attention as physical pain, so we can address each. Hope Hospice nurses and doctors are up to date on the latest medications and devices for pain and symptom relief. In addition Hope works with physical, occupational and massage therapists as well as dietitians as a patient’s need dictates to keep you as mobile and comfortable as possible. Counselors, including clergy, are also available to assist you as well as your family.
11) Will medications prevent me from being able to talk or know what’s happening?
Usually not. We work with you to assess your goals in pain management and work to have you as pain free and alert as possible. By constantly consulting with our patients, Hope has been very successful at reaching this goal.
12) Is Hope Hospice affiliated with any religious organization?
No. Hope Hospice is an ecumenical organization that meets you where you are. We celebrate your spirituality and provide spiritual counseling according to your wishes and your faith.