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Questions About Services


Hospice services

What services does Providence Hospice of Seattle provide?

Each hospice patient (and his or her caregivers) is assigned an interdisciplinary care team that provides a wide range of physical, emotional and spiritual support services. Each care team includes a nurse, a home health aide, a social worker, and a chaplain.

  • Hospice nurses are experts at understanding and managing the individual needs of each patient; they also serve as a valuable resource in educating family members to assist in caring for their loved one. Nurses create and oversee a specialized plan of care for each patient. They visit the patient regularly and offer support by phone.
  • Home health aides assist with personal care and help patient and family with activities of daily living.
  • Medical social workers help patients and family with non-medical concerns, including caregiving issues, financial arrangements, end-of-life planning and other practical matters.
  • Chaplains can help patients and families address spiritual concerns, either directly or by coordinating services with the patient's and family's spiritual counselors.
  • Hospice medical directors consult with the patient’s primary care physician and hospice team to ensure that the plan of care continues to meet the patient’s evolving needs.
  • Occupational therapists address the patient’s physical needs and environment, promoting independence, safety and quality of life.
  • A clinical pharmacist helps ensure that the patient’s medication needs are met.
  • Trained volunteers offer practical and emotional support to patients and families. Volunteers can provide caregiver respite, companionship, transportation, assistance with errands and other services.
  • Grief support counselors can help families deal with grief through support groups, counseling and referrals to other support resources. Grief support services are also available to children through the Safe Crossings program.

In addition to medical, emotional and practical support, Providence Hospice of Seattle provides medications and any other medical supplies related to the patient’s primary hospice diagnosis that are necessary to ensure patient comfort. We also offer complementary therapies (including massage, music therapy, hypnotherapy and other healing modalities) to promote the patient’s relaxation and well-being.

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Does Providence Hospice of Seattle provide hospice services to infants, children and teens?

Yes. Providence Hospice of Seattle is the only hospice in King County that offers pediatric hospice and palliative care services, as well as perinatal hospice services. Our Stepping Stones program provides physical, emotional and spiritual support to infants, children and teens with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

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How long can a patient stay on hospice?

Hospice care does not automatically end after six months. Medicare and most other insurers will continue to pay for hospice care as long as a physician certifies that the patient continues to have an estimated prognosis of six months or less. (Physicans are required to certify that patients are still eligible for hospice benefits every 90 days for the first six months of hospice care, and then every 60 days thereafter.)

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What happens if the patient’s condition improves?

The quality of care provided by Providence Hospice of Seattle can sometimes lead to significantly better health for a patient. When this happens, the patient may “graduate” from hospice, and Providence Hospice of Seattle will transfer the patient’s care to a non-hospice care provider. Later, if the patient’s prognosis changes and he or she becomes eligible for hospice again, the patient can re-elect the hospice benefit and resume hospice care.

Patients who are no longer eligible for hospice care may choose to continue to receive support through our Transitions program, a home-based service that provides information, resources and support to adults coping with a life-limiting illness and their families. It is offered free of charge to adults (18+) living in King County. For more information about the Transitions program, please call (206) 320-7396.

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