ghc-faqWhat is hospice?

Hospice is a system of care that provides support and relief to those diagnosed with a terminal illness. The focus of hospice is on the individual and the involved family, rather than the disease.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is a type of care that focuses on pain relief and symptom management without curing the illness. Hospice care is recommended for patients when it becomes clear that comfort rather than cure is the realistic focus. When this occurs, there is usually less need for aggressive medical interventions. Such care is considered palliative.

Who can make a hospice referral?

Anyone can make a referral including neighbors, nursing facility staff, physicians, or even a church organization. However, a physician’s order is required for admission. The patient must have a limited life expectancy as determined by two physicians (the attending physician and the Hospice Medical Director). To refer a patient, please contact our office or email us.

How much does hospice cost?

Hospice services are covered 100% by:

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • VA benefits
  • Most private insurances

Guardian Hospice Care views each situation as unique and will review each case individually.

If I live in a nursing home, can I receive hospice services?

Yes, the staff of Guardian Hospice Care is available to serve patients and their families in:

  • Private residential homes
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Assisted living communities

Can I keep my own physician?

Guardian Hospice Care believes that a continued relationship with your primary care physician is important. Therefore, a patient may choose to continue to see their own physician or may choose to have one of our specialized hospice physicians oversee their care.

Should I wait for my physician to raise the possibility of hospice, or should I raise it first?

The patient and family should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with their physician or other healthcare professionals.

Is there any special equipment or changes I have to make in my home before hospice care begins?

Your Guardian Hospice Care nurse will assess your needs, recommend equipment, and help make arrangements to obtain the necessary equipment. Often, the need for equipment is minimal at first and increases as the disease progresses.

Must someone be with the patient at all times?

In the early weeks of care, it is not always necessary for someone to be with the patient. Later, as the disease progresses, Guardian Hospice Care recommends someone be there continuously.

Does Guardian Hospice Care require me to be homebound?

No. You are not required to be homebound to receive hospice services. We encourage our patients to be as active as possible and maximize their quality of life.

What is Hospice’s success rate in battling pain?

Very high. Guardian Hospice Care nurses and physicians are up to date on the latest medications and devices for pain and symptom relief. Using some combination of medications, counseling and therapies, most patients can be kept pain free and comfortable.

Does Guardian provide help to the family after the patient dies?

The Guardian Hospice Care bereavement coordinator provides bereavement services to family members for 13 months following the death of the patient.