Hospice is a compassionate holistic approach to end-of-life care. The goal of hospice is to help people with serious illness live life fully, maintain their dignity and keep personal control over their lives.
Hospice provides palliative care and symptom management, including emotional and spiritual support to patients and their families facing life-limiting illness. Hospice services are provided in homes, hospitals, and assisted living and long-term nursing facilities. Hospice is available to anyone with an illness whose physician determines his or her life expectancy to be six months or less.
- Skilled nursing care
- Medical social services
- Home health aides
- Spiritual care services
- Bereavement support and counseling
- A life review video, a memorial to a loved one
- Volunteer services
Frequently Asked Questions
Unique physical, emotional, spiritual, social and financial needs occur during the phases of a terminal illness. Hospice provides experienced, skilled specialists who give needed help and support during this difficult time. The hospice team works with the attending physician and family to develop the plan of care, which meets the patient's and family's needs and wishes.
Who uses hospice care?
Hospice serves persons of any age with any terminal illness, including cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, neurological illnesses, Lou Gehrig's disease, Alzheimer's disease, cirrhosis, leukemia and others.
When is the right time to contact hospice?
At any time during a life-limiting illness, it is appropriate to discuss all of a patient's care options, including hospice. When curative treatments are no longer effective, hospice care is appropriate. Federal law requires a doctor's statement that life expectancy is six months or less.
What exactly is provided?
The specific hospice services offered by Home Options include visits by registered nurses, consulting physician services, chaplain services, social work services, therapy (physical, occupational, speech), dietary counseling, medications, medical equipment, short-term inpatient care, respite care, trained volunteers and bereavement support.
How do I initiate hospice services?
There are two ways. Your doctor or hospital case manager may call, or you may call. If you or someone from your family calls, we will call your doctor to discuss the illness and verify that hospice is medically appropriate. The patient is admitted to Home Options by signing a consent form electing hospice care.
Can a hospice patient continue with his or her own doctor?
Yes. Hospice nurses will work with the patient's doctor on all aspects of care. The local Home Options hospice medical director is available for consultation with the patient's doctor.
Is hospice care available 24 hours a day?
The hospice nurse is available 24 hours a day by phone to assist with questions or emergencies and can make a home visit if needed. Hospice pharmacies are available during off-hours to ensure that changing medication needs can be met at any time.
Who pays for hospice?
Hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans. Patients with inadequate insurance or limited resources can apply for financial assistance through KRMC's Financial Assistance Program
Is caring for the patient at home the only place hospice care is offered?
The majority of hospice care is provided to patients at home (personal residence, assisted living, long-term care facilities). Some patients receive services in hospitals.
How can I learn more about hospice?
For more information, to apply to be a volunteer or to inquire about hospice community speakers, please contact the Home Options office at (406) 751-4200.
We Honor Veterans
Home Options Recognized as a We Honor Veterans Partner
It may surprise many people to learn that 25 percent of those who die every year in the U.S. are veterans. To help provide care and support that reflect the important contributions made by these men and women, in 2010 Home Options became a national partner of We Honor Veterans, a pioneering campaign developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
As a We Honor Veterans partner, Home Options implements ongoing veteran-centered education for our staff and volunteers to help improve the care they provide to the veterans they proudly serve. By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s veterans who are facing a life-limiting illness, Home Options is better able to accompany and guide veterans and their families toward a more peaceful ending. And in cases where there might be specific needs related to the veteran’s military service, combat experience or other traumatic events, Home Options will find tools to help support those they are caring for.
The nation is seeing many of the veterans who served in World War II and the Korean War pass away – and the number of deaths of Vietnam veterans is beginning to rise. The We Honor Veterans campaign provides tiered recognition to organizations that demonstrate a systematic commitment to improving care for veterans. Partners can assess their ability to serve veterans and, using resources provided as part of the campaign, integrate best practices for providing end-of-life care to veterans into their organization.
The resources of We Honor Veterans focus on respectful inquiry, compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgment, coupled with veteran-centered education of health care staff caring for veterans.
To learn more about We Honor Veterans or to support this important work via a secure online donation, please visit www.wehonorveterans.org