Hospice is a service, not a place. The hospice team comes to the patient’s home, whether that be in their private home, nursing home, assisted living facility, to provide this full umbrella of care. Covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance companies, the hospice benefit includes all medications, medical equipment, and services required to treat the terminal diagnosis.
Hospice is for people with all diagnoses. While approximately 50% of hospice patients have some form of cancer, the other half have a wide variety of illnesses, including heart disease, lung disease, liver disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), dementia (including Alzheimer’s), and failure to thrive. Any condition to which the physician can state that in their best guess, this person has less than six months to live, would qualify for the care hospice provides.
Hospice patients do not need to be homebound. Unlike the Medicare requirements for home health services, there is no requirement that hospice patients be homebound. Hospice is about quality of life, and living each day to the fullest.
Hospice is for families as well as patients. A vital component of hospice care is the support and education given to the families and caregivers who are caring for the person who is living with the terminal illness. The staff work closely with all members of the patient’s circle, helping them understand what is happening, what they can expect moving forward, and empowering them to provide the care when the team is not present.
Hospice patients can be active and feeling good, and still receive the benefit. We encourage patients to access hospice care as soon as they’re told there is no longer a possibility of cure. Early admission allows patients and family members the opportunity to work through the emotional, social, and spiritual matters in their lives, so they are prepared to cope with the tremendous changes that are ahead.
Patients can continue to receive hospice care if they live beyond 6 months. Even though the benefit is stated as 6 months, when patients live beyond the expected life span, they may continue to receive hospice services. The hospice team and the patient’s physician continually re-certify that hospice services are appropriate for the individual, and there is no end to the benefit if the patient continues to meet the criteria.
Hospice is available 24 hours per day/7 days per week. In the middle of the night or weekend, patients and families may call to talk with a hospice team member. If needed, the hospice staff member will come to the home to help with the care.
Hospice is provided by a full team of professionals and volunteers. The hospice team consists of many professionals—nurses, aides, social workers, therapists, chaplains, bereavement coordinators, and the medical director, as well as specially-trained volunteers, who all work together to support individuals and their families during their last months of life. The team works closely with the patient, their family, and the patient’s personal physician to develop an individualized plan of care that helps the patient meet their goals for living the last months of their life.
Grief support is provided to surviving family members for at least 13 months. The bereavement staff, of the hospice team support the family members after the death for at least 13 months, helping the family through all those painful firsts – the first Thanksgiving, first holidays, first birthday, and first anniversary of the death. Through mailings, phone calls, and optional support groups and individual meetings, those who are grieving can access support along this road of transition.
Hospice Philosophy, Mission, Vision and Goal Philosophy
The word "hospice" comes from the same root as "hospital," "hospitality" and "hotel" all referring to caring for a person's comfort and needs. "Hospice care" means care provided to persons who are terminally ill. The most common providers of hospice care are home health agencies and in-home hospice services. Absolute Compassion Hospice supports persons who wish to be cared for at home.
Absolute Compassion Hospice is more than an agency. Absolute Compassion Hospice is a philosophy of healthcare for people at the end of life, which seeks not to prolong life unnaturally, but to ensure that in the time left to the dying person, his or her life is as full and comfortable as possible. Absolute Compassion Hospice seeks to enhance the dying person's quality of life and to provide support for family and other caregivers.
Absolute Compassion Hospice philosophy embraces a holistic approach that encompasses physical, emotional and spiritual concerns. The patient and family are seen as the unit of care. Absolute Compassion Hospice Care will be individualized to meet the patient's and the family's needs, as well as being responsive to differences in lifestyles.
Absolute Compassion Hospice philosophy:
- Affirms life
- Promotes self-determination, as patients and families participate in their plan of care
- Provides education to help patients and families provide appropriate care
- Promotes understanding and accepting that the journey of life eventually leads to death, and encourages people to view this experience as an opportunity for growth
- Emphasizes palliation, which includes physical, psychological and spiritual comfort delivered by a multidisciplinary staff
The Mission of Absolute Compassion Hospice is to provide quality, safety and cost effective end-or-life care to persons in needs of hospice services. Absolute Compassion Hospice provides care that optimizes comfort and dignity and is consistent with patient physical, emotional and spiritual needs, as well patient family needs.
Absolute Compassion Hospice is dedicated to provision of comprehensive, quality, patient-center care that is focused on each patient and family’s unique needs and palliative care outcomes.
Absolute Compassion Hospice primary goal is to be the provider of election for Hospice services. Hospice will provide care and services to patients, caregivers and families necessary for the palliation and management of the terminal illness and related conditions