Frequently Asked Questions
“Hospice is a place.”
Hospice is not a place; it is a service with the concept of caring for those who have life-limiting illnesses. Although hospice normally does not provide a cure, it offers comfort care and assistance that help maintain a better quality of life for an individual. Hospice care takes place wherever the need exists — usually the patient’s home.
“Hospice is for people who don’t need a high level of care.”
Hospice is serious medicine. Our hospice is Medicare-certified, requiring that we employ experienced medical and nursing personnel with skills in symptom control. Autumn Woods Hospice’s clinical team is experienced in alleviating or controlling pain while keeping our patients as cognitive as possible. We offer state-of-the-art palliative care, using advanced technologies to prevent or alleviate distressing symptoms.
“Hospice is only for old people.”
Although the majority of hospice patients are older, hospices serve patients of all ages. Autumn Woods Hospice offers a clinical staff with expertise in all age groups, even pediatric hospice care. Almost 20% of hospice patients are under 65 years of age.
“Hospice is only for dying people.”
As a family-centered concept of care, hospice focuses as much on the grieving family as on the dying patient. We make our grief services available to the community at large, serving schools, churches and the workplace.
“Hospice can only help when family members are available to provide care.”
Recognizing that terminally ill people may live alone, or with family members unable to provide care, Autumn Woods Hospice coordinates community resources to make home care possible. Or we will help to find an alternative location where the patient can safely receive care.
“Hospice is only for people who have cancer.”
More than one-half of hospice patients nation-wide have diagnoses other than cancer. In urban areas, hospices serve a large number of HIV/AIDS patients. Increasingly, hospices are also serving families coping with the end-stages of chronic diseases, like emphysema, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular diseases.
“Hospice is only for people who can accept death.”
While those affected by terminal illness struggle to come to terms with death, hospices gently help them find their way at their own speed. At Autumn Woods Hospice we welcome inquiries from families who are unsure about their needs and preferences. Our experienced and caring staff is readily available to discuss all options and to facilitate your family’s decisions.
“Hospice care is expensive.”
Most people who use hospice are over 65 and are entitled to the Medicare Hospice Benefit. This benefit covers virtually all hospice services and requires little, if any, out-of-pocket costs. This means that there are no financial burdens incurred by the family, in sharp contrast to the huge financial expenses at the end of life which may be incurred when hospice is not used.
“Hospice is not covered by managed care.”
While managed care organizations (MCOs) are not required to include hospice coverage, Medicare beneficiaries can use their Medicare hospice benefit anytime, anywhere they choose. They are not locked into the end-of-life services offered or not offered by the MCOs. On the other hand, those under 65 are confined to the MCOs services, but most provide at least some coverage for hospice.
“Hospice is for when there is no hope.”
When death is near, AW Hospice is here to help our patients and their families live life to the fullest. Our team will bring to bear all of our resources to ensure that your loved one is respected, pain-free, and treated with dignity.
About Our Services
Our medical director will oversee your care and you may retain your primary care physician to collaborate with the hospice medical director. Your relationship with your doctor does not change.
Nursing care is provided on an intermittent basis. These services may include: pain management, assessment, teaching, supervisory activities, evaluation of disease progressions, suggestions on nutrition, psychosocial, emotional support, bereavement assessment, and working with volunteers. Your primary nurse will coordinate visits with you.
The social worker will visit and will help with Advanced Directives, community resources, emotional support, bereavement counsel and other family needs. The social worker is available to visit in the home or on the phone.
The hospice chaplain will offer spiritual support in keeping with the patient/family wishes. The chaplain is available to visit at your place of residence or on the phone.
Physical, Speech and Occupational Therapy
Other contracted professionals may be called in from time to time to help with the care of the patient. The Interdisciplinary Team will review needs for the services and adjust services as necessary. A registered therapist is available to visit in the home to provide evaluation, consultation, and teaching.
A registered dietician is available for patient counseling, teaching, evaluation and home visits. The dietician is also available for phone visits and participates in team decisions.
Patient and Caregiver Services
Care will be focused on your needs and wishes. A wide range of services is available to enhance your quality of life and to control such symptoms as pain and anxiety. We expect you and your caregivers to take part in meeting your care needs. You have the right to refuse any treatment or service offered and we will support you in your choices.