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 patient cannot adequately manage their own needs, caregiver options must be further 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 Friday 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, gentle IV hydration, thoracentesis or paracentesis. Each case is evaluated to assess the treatment’s ability to relieve a patient’s symptoms, within the goals of comfort care. We also take into consideration a patient’s functional status and previous response to treatment.
Once on hospice, can I change my mind?
Yes. Choosing hospice care is not an irreversible decision. If a patient’s condition stabilizes over a period of time, if there are steady signs of improvement, or if the patient’s goals change, we will discharge a patient from hospice. 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.