Frequently Asked Questions
When should a decision about entering a hospice program be made and who should make it?
At any time during a life-limiting illness, it’s appropriate to discuss all of a patient’s care options, including hospice. By law the decision belongs to the patient. Most hospices accept patients who have a life-expectancy of six months or less and who are referred by their personal physician.
Should I wait for our physician to raise the possibility of hospice, or should I raise it first?
The patient and family should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with their physician, other health care professionals, clergy or friends.
Is all hospice care the same?
No. Many communities have more than one hospice. Medicare requires certified hospices provide a basic level of care but the quantity and quality of all services can vary significantly from one hospice to another. To find the best hospice for your needs, ask your doctor, healthcare professionals, clergy, social workers or friends who have received care for a family member. You may want to call or meet with the hospices and ask questions about their services.
Is there any special equipment or changes I have to make in my home before hospice care begins?
Your hospice provider will assess your needs, recommend any equipment, and help make arrangements to obtain any necessary equipment. Often the need for equipment is minimal at first and increases as the disease progresses. In general, hospice will assist in any way it can to make home care as convenient, clean and safe as possible.
How many family members or friends does it take to care for a patient at home?
There’s no set number. One of the first things a hospice team will do is to prepare an individualized care plan that will, among other things, address the amount of caregiving needed by the patient. Hospice staff visit regularly and are always accessible to answer medical questions.
Must someone be with the patient at all times?
In the early weeks of care, it’s usually not necessary for someone to be with the patient all the time. Later, however, since one of the most common fears of patients is the fear of dying alone, hospice generally recommends someone be there continuously. While family and friends do deliver most of the care, hospices may have volunteers to assist with errands and to provide a break and time away for primary caregivers.
What specific assistance does hospice provide home-based patients?
Hospice patients are cared for by a team consisting of a physician, a nurse, social workers, counselors, home health aides, clergy, therapists, and volunteers. Each one provides assistance based on his or her own area of expertise. In addition, hospices provide medications, supplies, equipment, and other services related to the terminal illness.
Can a hospice patient who shows signs of recovery be returned to regular medical treatment?
If the discharged patient should later need to return to hospice care, Medicare and most private insurance will allow readmission to hospice care and hospice services.
What does the hospice admission process involve?
Compass Hospice Dallas and most hospices have medical staff available to help patients who have no physician.
Does hospice provide care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
If you require more care than can be provided in the home, Compass Hospice Dallas as other hospices have designated and contracted inpatient facilities.
Does hospice do anything to make death come sooner?
Hospice neither hastens nor postpones dying. Just as doctors and midwives lend support and expertise during the time of child birth, hospice provides its presence and specialized knowledge during the processes of impending death. Our Focus is to help the patient and family “Celebrate Life”.
Compass Hospice of Big Spring
1900 S. Gregg St., Suite C, Big Spring, TX 79720
Compass Hospice of Dallas
13747 Montfort Dr. Suite 107 Dallas, TX 75240
Compass Hospice of Midland
3001 W. Illinois Ave., #3A, Midland, TX 79701
Compass Hospice of San Antonio
140 Heimer Road, Suite 750, San Antonio, TX 77232