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Frequently Asked Questions

What is hospice?
Who provides hospice?
When is hospice appropriate?
Where is hospice provided?
Who pays for hospice?
Why does someone seek hospice care rather than other types of care?
Will Providence Hospice staff teach me how to care for my loved one?
What about nursing home or assisted living residents?
Can a patient withdraw from hospice after starting the program?
What if a person does not have insurance or cannot afford to pay for hospice care?
What kind of follow-up care does a family receive?

What is hospice?

Hospice is a way of caring for people with a progressive, life-threatening illness that helps them live their final months of life to the fullest, as comfortable as possible, in the setting of their own homes. Hospice is a combination of services designed to address not only the physical needs of patients, but also the psycho-social needs of patients, their families and loved ones. Hospice combines the best in pain control, symptom management and emotional and spiritual support.

Our compassionate and expert staff includes nurses, home health aides, medical social workers, chaplains, physical therapists and occupational therapists, who are available to make home visits according to the patients’ needs and wishes. Trained hospice volunteers provide companionship, assistance with tasks of daily living, and respite care for caregivers.

Who provides hospice?

In Providence Hospice, an interdisciplinary team of professionals focuses on maximizing the quality of each patient’s life. Team members include:

  • Patient’s physician
  • Nurses
  • Home Health Aids
  • Medical Social Workers
  • Chaplains
  • Bereavement Counselors
  • Volunteers

In addition to being experts in symptom management, the hospice team advocates for whatever is necessary, and possible, to meet each patient’s unique, end-of-life needs and wishes.

When is hospice appropriate?

People with a terminal diagnosis of six months or less – as a result of cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, end-stage heart disease, or other condition – choose hospice when curative treatment is no longer effective or desirable, and does not add to the patient’s quality of life.

Where is hospice provided?

In most cases, hospice care is provided in the home, so patients can live in a familiar setting surrounded by their loved ones. Hospice care may also be provided in other settings such as long-term care facilities.

Who pays for hospice?

Medicare, Medicaid, and many private insurance companies provide hospice benefits. Providence Hospice of Snohomish County provides care, regardless of a person’s ability to pay.

Why does someone seek hospice care rather than other types of care?

Providence Hospice provides care when a cure is no longer possible or when the negative side effects and risks of curative treatment outweigh the potential benefits. Many patients wish to stay at home in familiar surroundings when they learn they will not get well. They prefer to remain with their loved ones and engage in the activities that they enjoy. Providence Hospice keeps them comfortable and free from pain and other disabling symptoms in order to enjoy their last months.

Will Providence Hospice staff teach me how to care for my loved one?

Providence Hospice staff support family members or loved ones who care for patients at home on a day-to-day basis. Providence Hospice staff not only deliver medical treatment aimed at alleviating pain and symptoms, they spend time instructing families and caregivers in basic care skills, for example, skin care or how to bathe the patient in bed.

What about nursing home or Assisted Living residents?

Providence Hospice provides the same services to residents of long-term care facilities as they do in private residences.

Can a patient withdraw from hospice after starting the program?

Yes, at any time.

What if a person does not have insurance or cannot afford to pay for hospice care?

Providence Hospice and Home Care’s mission is to provide care for ALL, regardless of their ability to pay. Thanks to the private support from our generous donors, hospice care is made available to all who need it.

What kind of follow-up care does a family receive?

Providence Hospice’s Bereavement Program offers a variety of support services to families following the death of a loved one. Bereavement services are tailored to the specific needs of families and individuals. They include mailings, grief support groups, telephone outreach, individual and family counseling, memorial services and referral to community resources.