Hospice cares for people at the end of their life, focusing on the whole person and all of their needs: physical, emotional, social and spiritual. The hospice concept is not new; in fact, hospices have provided comfort, kindness and spiritual nourishment to people in need for hundreds of years. Today’s hospice programs offer that same tradition of comfort to people as they near the end of life’s journey.
Hospice care is provided to those who, in consultation with their physicians, have decided that supportive rather than curative care is desired. The focus of hospice is comfort and quality of life. Despite the association of Hospice with terminal illness, the primary goal is to help people spend their time living as fully and completely as they wish, in their own familiar, comfortable surroundings, and in the company of family and friends.
Patients and their families and friends experience many conflicting emotions when faced with a life-threatening illness -– emotions such as fear, anger, loneliness and anxiety about the future. The hospice team can help both the patient and their loved ones cope with the experience of a life threatening illness in all its dimensions, physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual.
Hospice affirms a person’s right to choice and to be in control of decision-making about their care. It is the role of the hospice team to present and discuss options with the patient and family, and to assist them in making informed healthcare decisions.
Basic to the concept of hospice is an acknowledgment that death is a part of life and a belief that there are opportunities for growth in all stages of life, including the last stage.
Many people think that “hospice” is a particular place, but hospice care can be provided almost anywhere a patient resides: at the patient’s home, or in a retirement home, adult family home, assisted living facility or skilled nursing facility.
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Palliative care is a health care approach that focuses on providing comfort, managing pain and physical symptoms, and promoting quality of life, but that does not specifically seek to cure an illness. By providing relief from pain and physical symptoms, palliative care can enhance a patient’s ability to engage in meaningful activities.
Palliative treatments that are intended to improve comfort and quality of life are often compatible with receiving hospice care. This philosophy, called Open Access, focuses on the patient's goals of care. If the patient's goal and the hospice's goal are both optimal comfort and quality of life, in the face of a life limiting condition, palliative treatment serves both the patient's needs and the hospice's mission.
The Open Access philosophy enables Providence Hospice of Seattle to be more inclusive of patients who are benefiting from palliative treatments. Our patients do not have to forego palliative treatments that accomplish their comfort and quality of life goals in order to receive the skilled support and care offered by hospice. Hospice team members work with each patient’s physician to determine which treatments and therapies are appropriate for palliative care.
Any adult or child who has a life-limiting illness and is no longer seeking curative treatment may be eligible for hospice care. All hospice services are provided in the patient's home or place of residence: nursing home, assisted living, or adult family home.
Hospice care is appropriate for people with almost any type of advanced illness, including cancer, ALS and other neurological conditions, Parkinson’s disease, end-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia, cardiac disease, renal disease, respiratory disease, stroke, AIDS, and so on. Hospice is also appropriate for people who don’t have any one illness causing their decline, but are clearly approaching the end of life.
In addition, Providence Hospice of Seattle is the only hospice in King County to offer pediatric hospice and palliative care to infants, children and teens through our Stepping Stones program.
Providence Hospice of Seattle accepts payment from Medicare Part A (patients with all Medicare HMO programs are eligible for our services), Medicaid and most private insurance plans. We also accept private payment. No one is denied services because of an inability to pay.
Medicare has two parts, Hospital Insurance (or Part A) and Medical Insurance or (Part B). Part A covers hospice services and pays nearly all the costs of a patient’s hospice care, which can include:
The Medicare Hospice Benefit does not cover the following:
Medicaid has a similar hospice benefit, as do most private insurance plans. (Those with private insurance plans should contact the patient’s insurance company’s customer service department for specific information regarding hospice benefits.)
Providence Hospice of Seattle provides hospice care in a patient’s current place of residence. This may be the patient’s home, retirement home, adult family home, assisted living facility or skilled nursing facility.
At any time during the course of a life-limiting illness, it is appropriate to discuss all of a patient's care options, including hospice care. In general, the earlier Providence Hospice can become involved with a patient, the more support we can give to both the patient and his or her caregivers.
It may be time for hospice when:
If you’re a patient or caregiver who is interested in hospice, please contact us for more information, or ask your physician for a referral. You can also reach us by phone at 206-320-4000, or toll-free at 888-782-4445. (Physicians can call our referral line at 206-749-7701.)
Any adult or child who has a life-limiting illness and is no longer seeking curative treatment may be eligible for hospice care. Anyone can make a hospice referral. To be admitted to hospice, the patient’s physician must certify that the patient has an estimated life expectancy of six months or less, and the patient has made a decision to seek comfort care only.
If you’re a patient or caregiver who is interested in hospice, please contact us for more information, or ask your physician for a referral. You can also reach us at our referral line 206-749-7701, or toll-free at 888-782-4445.
Before the Admission Visit: An Admission Visit may be up to 2 hours long, so being informed will help you prepare for the visit. What you can do to prepare:
During the Admission Visit: A Hospice Nurse will make the Admission Visit to meet with both patient and family and/or caregivers, wherever the patient resides. You can expect that the Hospice Admission Nurse will:
After the Admission Visit, the Hospice Care Team Nurse will contact you to schedule a regular nurse visit. Your Hospice Care Team consists of a Nurse, Social Worker, Chaplain, Hospice Aid, and others as needed. You have 24/7 access to our services and can call us anytime at 206-320-4000 or 888-782-4445 (toll-free).