There are many misconceptions about hospice. Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions you might have about hospice services. Please get in touch with us if you have additional questions.
Does hospice require a patient to have a caregiver?
If a patient is able to care for themselves and physically manage at home, then a caregiver is optional. If a patient is not able to manage their own needs safely, caregiver options can be explored.
What if a problem develops after 5:00 pm?
Our hospice program provides 24-hour support. We have staff available to help manage uncontrolled symptoms or changes in condition that occur outside of normal operating hours, which are Monday through Sunday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
What about treatments such as blood transfusion and intravenous medication?
The hospice plan of care may include treatments such as blood transfusions and gentle IV hydration. Decisions about the role of treatments are considered based on the goals of comfort care. In each case, we discuss with the patient the benefit and the burden of the treatment, and its ability to provide efficient, effective comfort care and symptom management. We also take into consideration a patient’s functional status and previous response to treatment.
Once on hospice, can I change my mind?
Yes. Hospice care is a choice based on a patient’s condition and care goals. Sometimes a patient’s condition stabilizes over a period of time or there may be steady signs of improvement. Sometimes a patient’s care goals change. If that happens, we will talk with the patient and caregivers about changing the plan to reflect the best focus of care for them. We explain to patients and families, “We’re making a plan today based on what we know today. But if a new treatment becomes available and your doctor feels you can benefit from that treatment, we can change the plan.”