Visiting Nurse Service

Frequently Asked Questions About Hospice

What is Hospice?

A special KIND OF CARE that helps people live with dignity, comfort and peace at the end-of-life.

What does Hospice do?

  • Provides compassionate care for people with a terminal illness until death occurs
  • Focuses on relieving symptoms and increasing comfort of the person who is dying
  • Assists family and loved ones as well as the patient
  • Assures that wishes for end-of-life care are honored

What makes Hospice unique?

  • Its focus on preventing, treating or eliminating discomfort and pain
  • A team of professionals trained in –
    • End-of-life care

    • Supporting physical, emotional, spiritual and practical needs of all those caring for loved ones at end-of-life

What should I know about Hospice?

  • Hospice is NOT a place
  • Hospice is wherever you are
  • Hospice care is provided in private homes, nursing homes, hospitals, comfort care homes and many other places people call “home”

Who is on the Hospice team?

  • Physician
  • Registered Nurse
  • Home Health Aide
  • Social Worker
  • Chaplain
  • Grief and Bereavement Counselor
  • Volunteers

Who is eligible for Hospice care?

  • Hospice serves patients – and their families – in their last months of life
  • Patients who have less than six months to live as determined by their physician and a hospice medical director

Who pays for Hospice?

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Most private insurance companies
  • If you or you loved one does not have insurance, some hospices can provide care at little or no cost

What does Hospice cover?

  • Doctor visits/services
  • Nursing care
  • Medical equipment, supplies and drugs for symptom control and pain relief
  • Home health aide assistance
  • Social work services
  • Volunteer support
  • Grief and bereavement support to help you and your family
  • Physical, speech, and/or occupational therapy, if appropriate
  • Short-term care for symptom management in the hospital or inpatient hospice unit

How is Hospice care initiated?

  • You or a loved one can call a Hospice Care program or agency that offers this type of care to learn more about starting the process
  • Your physician calls a Hospice Care program or agency that offers this type of care and makes a referral for service
  • Your physician signs a certificate of terminal illness
  • A hospice nurse or social worker meets with you and/or your family members and explains the benefits of hospice
  • You or your medical care representative or proxy signs the Benefit Election Form and service begins

Does Hospice do anything to make death come sooner?

  • Hospice neither hastens nor postpones dying
  • Some patients live longer with Hospice care than they would if they continued aggressive treatment that was not working
  • The Hospice Care team provides its presence and specialized knowledge during the last phase of life

Where can I receive Hospice Care?

  • At home
  • In a nursing home
  • In a hospital
  • In a special Hospice Unit or Center
  • Comfort care homes

What is Palliative Care?

  • A medical specialty focused on relief of pain and other debilitating symptoms of serious illnesses
  • Is not dependent on a prognosis
  • Can be delivered at the same time as the treatment meant to cure you

Visiting Nurse Service of Rochester
(585) 787-2233
(800) 724-5727

2180 Empire Boulevard • Webster, NY 14580


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