Featured Guest: Rose Collins of Buffalo Hospice on Poweredup Talk Radio with Sandra Beck and Linda Franklin May 28, 2013 3pm PST on Toginet.com

hr_portrait_-1Hospice is a compassionate approach to care whose goal is to help people with serious illness live life fully, maintain their dignity and keep control over their lives. In medieval times, hospices were inns of rest which “lodged, cherished and refreshed” the Crusader, the sick and the dying. Today, Hospice provides medical care, emotional and spiritual support to people and their families facing life-limiting illness in homes, hospitals, adult facilities, nursing homes, group homes and hospice residences such as Hospice Buffalo House at Mitchell & St. John Baptist/Hospice Inpatient Unit. Hospice is available to any one with an illness whose life expectancy is measured in months, rather than years.


Why Hospice?

Unique physical, emotional, spiritual, social and financial needs occur during the final phases of life-limiting illness. Hospice Buffalo 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 care which meets the patient/family needs and wishes concerning treatment and lifestyle.

Who Uses Hospice Care?

Hospice serves persons of any age with any life-limiting illness. Among the illnesses our patients have had are: cancer, cardiac disease, renal disease, neurological illnesses, Lou Gehrig’s disease, AIDS, cirrhosis, leukemia, and others.

When is the right time to contact Hospice?

At any time during a life-limiting illness, it’s appropriate to discuss all of a patient’s care options, including hospice. Admission to hospice is based on a physician’s clinical judgment that hospice care would be appropriate for a patient, given the expected course of an illness. If you are thinking about calling hospice, then now is the right time. Simply call us at (716) 686-8000 to learn more about our services, or contact us.

What exactly is provided?

The specific services offered by Hospice include a consultant physician, registered nurses, home health aides, pastoral caregivers, social work services, therapies (physical, occupational, speech), dietary counseling, drugs and medical supplies/equipment related to the life-limiting illness, back-up hospital care, respite care, trained volunteers, and bereavement counseling.

How does one get involved with Hospice services?

There are two ways. Your doctor or hospital/care facility 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 actually becomes admitted to Hospice by signing a consent form electing Hospice care.

Can a Hospice patient continue with his or her own doctor?

Yes. A Hospice Medical Director is available for consultation with the patient’s doctor. Hospice nurses will work with the patient’s doctor on all aspects of care. If for some reason your physician is unable to visit you, a hospice physician who specializes in comfort care is available to visit you and consult with your hospice care team if you choose.

Does Hospice provide 24-hour nursing?

No. Hospice nurses visit weekly or more frequently as the patient’s condition dictates. A Hospice nurse is also accessible 24 hours a day by phone to assist with questions or emergencies and can make a home visit if needed. Hospice pharmacies are available off-hours to ensure that changing medication needs can be met at any time. Medications are delivered to the patient’s residence. The family can also privately hire shift nurses to provide 24-hour nursing if the family has health insurance that will reimburse them over and above Hospice or if the family is financially able to privately hire.

Who pays for Hospice?

Most health insurances, including Medicare, provide full coverage for Hospice care, usually with no co-payments or deductibles.* In addition, most Medicaid and commercial insurance plans also offer excellent coverage for hospice services with few, if any, out-of-pocket expenses. Patients who are under insured or who have limited resources can apply for financial assistance, which is funded by community donations.

*Hospice care at home is free: all medical services, medication, and equipment related to the admitting diagnosis are paid in full by Medicare in 80% of cases.

Is caring for the patient at home the only place hospice care is offered?

No. While 85% of Hospice care is provided to patients in a personal residence, some patients live in adult facilities, nursing homes, group homes or Hospice centers. Hospice Buffalo provides care in patient homes, over 40 area adult facilities/nursing homes/group homes, palliative (comfort care) care units in area hospitals, the Mary & Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Hospice In-Patient Unit and the Hospice Buffalo House, both located on the Hospice Mitchell Campus, 225 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga, New York 14227. In addition, Hospice care is also available at St. John Baptist/Hospice Inpatient Unit for hospice-eligible patients who are unable to remain at home.

How can I learn more about Hospice?

To obtain further information, to apply to be a volunteer, or to inquire about Hospice speakers, call The Center for Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc. at (716) 686-1900 or contact us.

The Center for Hospice & Palliative Care is Western New York’s community based healthcare organization dedicated to the care and support of individuals with a serious or end of life illness. We represent a passionate and diverse team of professionals dedicated to the holistic care of human beings regardless of setting. We are a Learning Organization with a goal of Education, Collaboration, Innovation and Research.

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