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    Redefining Hope for 32 Years

    Common Questions

    What Can Hospice Do For Me?

    Hospice provides emotional, medical, and spiritual support for people who are terminally ill. The goal is to improve patient's quality of life by making them comfortable in their homes. The focus of care is on symptom management rather than curing the disease. Hospice helps families cope with the care of their ill family member and acts as an advocate during this time of illness.

    86% of the American public would choose to die at home.

    9 out of 10 patients with a life limiting diagnosis would benefit from a consultation with Hospice to compliment the care of their own physician.

    Who Do We Serve?

    Hospice of South Texas serves people who meet the following qualifying factors:

    • They want control over the many decisions regarding their care.
    • Their Doctor certifies that they have an estimated life expectancy of six months or less if their disease follows a typical course.
    • They want to be at home or in a home like setting and reside within our service area.
    • They are no longer willing or able to pursue curative measures and have shifted their concern to the quality of the time remaining.
    • They want to be able to come off hospice if their situation improves.
    • They are now concerned with remaining as alert, pain free and comfortable as possible.
    • They are concerned that family be supported through their final months and beyond.

    When Is The Right Time?

    Ask your physician or call Hospice of South Texas. You can assist your physician by indicating that you want to be told when and if it is time to consider hospice. You can also tell your physician that you are ready to consider hospice. Call us early. We will help you find the best resources to meet your specific needs.

    Who is eligible for Hospice Care?

    Hospice is available to all terminally ill individuals and their families. Although the majority of patients admitted into hospice have conditions related to cancer, other frequent admission diagnoses include heart and lung disease, AIDS, and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and ALS.

    Terminal prognosis, certified by attending physician and hospice medical director, of six (6) months or less if disease takes its normal course.

    Patient no longer seeking curative treatment; has chosen palliative care.

    Who can refer patients for admission to Hospice of South Texas?

    • Physicians
    • Discharge Planners
    • Patients
    • Family Members
    • Friends
    • Clergy
    • Long Term Care Facility IDT (Interdisciplinary Team)

    How does Hospice care differ from other kinds of care?

    Patients and families are a vital part of the decision-making process. Hospice works to help patients maintain control of their lives whenever possible, enabling people with a terminal illness to make decisions about how and where they want to spend the rest of their lives.

    Hospice offers palliative care rather than curative treatment, using sophisticated methods of pain and symptom control that allow the patient to live as fully and as comfortably as possible.

    Hospice emphasizes quality, rather than the length of life. Hospice helps the patient to make the most of each hour and each day of remaining life by providing comfort and relief from pain and suffering.

    Hospice cares for the person, not the disease, focusing on the care, not a cure. The hospice movement stresses human values that go beyond the physical needs of the patient. Physical, mental, emotional, financial, and spiritual issues are addressed. We affirm life and regard dying as a normal process.

    Hospice provides on-call availability, 24 hours a day, allowing the patient and family to reach the nurse at any time, night or day, seven days a week.

    Hospice provides continuing contact and support for family and friends for a year following the death of a loved one.

    Does Hospice of South Texas serve only cancer patients?

    Definitely not! Hospice of South Texas provides care to patients of all ages with life-limiting illnesses such as end stage Alzheimer's, congestive heart failure, renal failure, multiple sclerosis, COPD(chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), AIDS, cancers, Parkinson's disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, and more.

    If I accept Hospice care, won’t I be giving up hope?

    Hospice focuses on the hope that every day will be the best it can be rather than that the disease will be cured. The goal of Hospice is to ease the suffering of the terminally ill and their families and friends.

    Hope centers around the hope for quality of life, symptom control, reconciliation, spiritual and emotional comfort for the patient and family members choices and control.

    Can I come off of Hospice services if I change my mind and want curative treatment again?

    Yes. Hospice care will be discontinued when patient and family, physician and/or members of the hospice team decide hospice is no longer necessary or appropriate. When hospice initiates the discharge, every effort is made to resolve any problems and assist in referring the patient to appropriate facilities or agencies. Patients are always welcome back on hospice services when the time comes and when appropriate.

    Will Hospice help end life to relieve suffering?

    No. Hospice does not support euthanasia. The Hospice staff supports people through the natural dying process.

    Must I sign a DNR order (Do Not Resuscitate) before I can have Hospice services?

    No. Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Orders are encouraged for all Hospice patients but are not required.

    Does this mean there is nothing more we can do?

    We cannot add days to your life but we can add life to your days.

    Hospice is not the end of treatment-is is a shift to intensive palliative care that focuses on allowing the patient to live his or her life to the fullest.

    In Hospice, there is always more that can be done to relieve the pain and suffering, and bring comfort to the patient and family.

    Will my privacy be respected?

    Yes.

    Can I keep my doctor when I come on Hospice?

    Yes. Hospice encourages participation by the patient’s attending physician in coordinating the medical care of the patient through ongoing communications between the attending physician and the Hospice team.

    How does Hospice of South Texas receive reimbursement for its services?

    Hospice of South Texas receives reimbursement from:

    • Medicare Part A Hospice Benefit
    • Texas Medicaid Hospice Benefit
    • CHAMPUS Hospice Benefiy
    • Private Insurance Hospice Benefit

    Since 1985, community support from grants, memorials, gifts, contributions, and volunteers have made it possible for Hospice of South Texas to provide full services to patients and families regardless of ability to pay.

    What are other sources of the Hospice’s financial support?

    An important source of financial support for Hospice is donations from friends and loved ones of former patients. Another is the community support of fundraising activities. Churches, clubs and businesses contribute as well to help Hospice provide non-funded services. Donations are made to: Hospice of South Texas, 605 E. Locust Ave., Victoria, Texas 77901.

    No one who desires hospice care and meets the eligibility criteria will be refused care on the basis of age, race, gender, physical/mental disability, or ability to pay.

    Where do patients live while they are receiving Hospice services?

    Patients can receive care wherever they live: at home, in the home of relatives or friends, in nursing homes, in group living facilities.

    What about continuous care in the home?

    Hospice may provide continuous care in the home for patients who cannot be moved, but whose acute symptoms require intense monitoring or treatment. Continuous care shall be determined by the interdisciplinary group and needs approval by the Executive Director or Director of Nursing due to staff availability. The care must be ordered by the physician and for shot time frames only/and until the crisis is resolved.

    What about medicines and medical equipment?

    Medicines & Medical Equipment Services:
    The Hospice patient also receives all prescribed Medications for his life-threatening illness and for the alleviation of distressing symptoms. These drugs are paid for by Hospice at 100%.

    Exceptions: Medications for prior conditions other than the life-threatening illness (e.g. prior heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, etc.) and over the counter medications are not covered.

    How can I help Hospice of South Texas?

    • Become a Volunteer
    • Make a tax-deductible donation
    • Invite us to make a presentation to your group
    • Make sure that friends, neighbors, and family members are aware of their right to this special kind of care.
    • Support our fundraisers

    How can I give a gift to Hospice of South Texas?

    • Contributions
    • Donate medical equipment and supplies
    • Memorial donations
    • Honorary gifts
    • Planned gifts