Patient/Caregiver FAQs

Patient/Caregiver FAQs | Healthcare Professionals FAQs | Grieving FAQs

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Considering Hospice

What is Hospice?
Hospice care is a compassionate, interdisciplinary team approach to end-of-life care that addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of individuals. Our specialized care is palliative in nature, seeking comfort rather than cure. In addition, Hospice provides support for the patient’s family, including bereavement care following the death.

Who can receive Hospice care?
Any person with a terminal illness is eligible for Hospice care if:

  • The patient’s physician feels the patient will live six months or less if the disease follows its normal course.
  • Aggressive treatments are not effective or providing relief to the patient, or not desired by the patient.
  • The patient, family, and physician all understand that the focus of Hospice care is comfort—pain control and symptom management—rather than cure.

How does someone become a Hospice patient? Making a referral to Hospice of the Piedmont is simple—just call us at 336.889-8446. Anyone can request information about our services without obligation. Our Hospice team is always available to help you or your physician determine if hospice care is right for you.

What services does Hospice of the Piedmont provide?
The Hospice team is called “interdisciplinary” because experienced, well-trained staff members from several areas help care for each patient:

  • Registered nurses provide nursing care and emergency visits as needed.
  • Medical social workers offer emotional support, help assess needs, coordinate resources, and address financial concerns.
  • Nursing aides provide assistance with personal care.
  • Chaplaincy services offer spiritual support, if requested.
  • Trained patient/family volunteers provide added support and friendship, if requested.
  • Bereavement care is available to families and anyone in the community following the loss of a loved one through our Grief Counseling Center.
  • Children’s services provided by our Kids Path program help young people cope with a terminal illness or loss.

For each patient and family, the interdisciplinary team develops a care plan that spells out the goals of care and just what care is needed, including the frequency of visits. Hospice team members also support caregivers and help them learn how to confidently care for the patient, knowing that expert help and advice is just a phone call away 24 hours a day.

In addition, Hospice pays for all durable medical equipment, medications, and supplies related to the terminal illness.

When is the right time for Hospice care?
Receiving a diagnosis of a terminal illness can be overwhelming for patients and families, and there are complex medical, emotional, and spiritual needs to be considered. Some of the signs that the time is right to discuss Hospice care include:

  • Repeated hospitalizations or trips to the emergency room.
  • Failure to “bounce back” after medical setbacks.
  • Increasing assistance needed for walking, eating, bathing, dressing, or toileting.
  • An increase in pain, nausea, breathing problems, or other distressing symptoms.
  • Caregiver “burnout” and isolation or need for support.

Hospice care enables patients to live fully, with comfort and dignity, to the end of life. More often than not, families say they wish they’d contacted Hospice sooner, so please feel free to call with questions at any time.

It’s a common misconception that Hospice care is only for the last days of life, when, in fact, patients and families can benefit most from care for three or more months. Earlier care allows time to experience the full range of Hospice services and focus on enhancing quality of life.

How is Hospice care paid for?
Many Hospice services are reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance coverage. As an independent, not-for-profit, community-owned health care provider, Hospice of the Piedmont relies on community support to provide compassionate, specialized health care and support for terminally ill patients and their loved ones. Our goal is to provide hospice care to all seeking our services, regardless of their financial resources. Hospice of the Piedmont does not receive funding from local, state or federal governments. For more information on how you can partner with Hospice of the Piedmont in meeting the end-of-life needs in our community, please review our Get Involved section.)

Is Hospice staff available after hours?
Hospice care is available “on call” after the administrative office has closed-seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Are all Hospices the same?
No. Although all hospices specialize in care for the terminally ill, the quality of care and extent of services can differ widely among hospice care providers. Hospice of the Piedmont is an independent, not-for-profit, health care provider and one of the oldest, most experienced hospice care providers in North Carolina, serving Guilford, Randolph, Davidson, and Forsyth counties since 1981. In addition to local management, Hospice of the Piedmont consistently receives excellent quality ratings in patient satisfaction surveys and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Health Care. For more information about Hospice of the Piedmont, call us at 336. 889.8446. For more information on choosing a hospice and about hospice care providers throughout the United States, visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) website at www.nhpco.org.

Medical

Where is Hospice care provided?
Hospice is a philosophy of care, not a place. Most Hospice patients receive care in the home, but care can also be provided in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, our Hospice Home at High Point, or in hospitals.
Does Hospice only care for cancer patients?
Hospice of the Piedmont cares for patients with any life-limiting diagnosis ranging from any type of cancer to end-stage heart or lung disease, Alzheimer’s, AIDS, and ALS.
What if a patient decides not to continue Hospice care? And is the patient still included in health care decisions?
Patients always have the right to make choices about their care, and may change their minds about receiving Hospice care at any time. Patients and families lead the Hospice team and are always included in the decision-making process – their opinions and wishes matter the most. With the excellent pain and symptom management provided by Hospice, patients sometimes show improvement and may be discharged from Hospice care.

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