What is hospice care?

Hospice El Paso provides specialized patient care services that include symptom management, emotional support, spiritual support and volunteers, addressing issues that are most important to the patient’s needs and wants at the end of their life focusing on improving their quality of life. Hospice care also improves the family and caregiver’s lives by having someone they can lean on and to seek guidance during this difficult time.

Where is hospice care provided?

Hospice is not a place.  Hospice care is provided where ever the patient lives.  This could be in a patient’s home, nursing home, assisted living facility or other long term care facility.  Hospice care is provided in a setting that best meets the needs of the patient and family.

When is the right time to call hospice?

There are many misconceptions on what the hospice benefit provides.  For that reason, many families delay in having the conversation about end of life care.  Hospice should be called at any time the patient has been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.   Referring early will allow patients and families the most benefit of care.  With an earlier admission, there are fewer crisis requiring emergency visits or hospital care. Pain and symptoms are managed much better and families experience less physical and emotional stress.  All inquiries are equally important and we are ready to meet with you anytime at your convenience to provide education and answer any questions you may have.

How can I get hospice for my loved one or myself?

Hospice care starts when a request or a “referral” is made by the patient’s physician.  A hospice representative will contact and plan a visit with the patient and/or family at a time that best fits their schedule to discuss the hospice care and a clinical assessment is completed.  Once the hospice benefit is elected, services can begin immediately.

What about my family?

One of the features of Hospice El Paso, is that the needs of the family as well as the patient are addressed by the interdisciplinary team.  When a patient dies, the family receives up to 13 months of bereavement services.  In addition support groups are offered at no cost to all family members.

Can I receive hospice care if I live alone?

Yes.  Some people under the hospice benefit are able to still live independently for a while and manage their medications and continue to be mobile.  Our hospice staff monitors the patient’s safety and their ability to manage their care.  However, part of the admission and plan of care is to plan and prepare for the time in a patient’s illness when 24-hour care will be necessary.

Can my pain and symptoms be controlled at the home setting?

Yes.  Pain and other symptoms can usually be controlled in the patient’s home.  If a symptom, such as pain, nausea, vomiting or difficulty breathing becomes a problem, the hospice nurse can be reached 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.  Hospice El Paso’s nurses assess each patient’s pain and symptom control at each visit.  Our Hospice medical director and in-house physician are always available to adjust medications.

What if my pain and symptoms cannot be controlled at home?

Hospice El Paso operates a stand-alone inpatient facility, The Center for Compassionate Care-West, that provides 24-hour specialized care for patients with needs beyond what can be provided in the home setting.  It is a short term stay designed to provide appropriate care so patients’ pain and other symptoms related to the patient’s terminal illness are controlled, while enhancing the quality of time remaining.

Does hospice provide 24-hour caregivers?

Although 24-hour care giving is not provided under the hospice benefit, Hospice El Paso provides intermittent nursing visits to assess, monitor and treat symptoms, as well as teach family and caregivers the skills they need to care for their loved one. Our hospice team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions or visit anytime the need for support arises.

Can a hospice patient choose to return to curative or aggressive treatment?

Yes. Receiving the hospice benefit is always a choice. A patient may decide to leave hospice and return to curative or aggressive treatment. If the patient decides to return to hospice care, Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurances will permit re-admissions to receive the hospice benefit.

Does hospice mean you will die sooner?

No. Our goal is always to alleviate suffering and manage symptoms. Hospice does nothing to speed up or slow down the patient’s terminal condition. Our role is to provide support and allow the disease process to take its natural course and provide the most comfortable care for the patient.

Will I receive support after my loved ones dies?

Yes. Hospice provides bereavement support to follow the patient’s family and caregivers for as long as needed following their loved ones death. Hospice El Paso’s bereavement support includes personal visits and group support to guide them through the grieving process. Hospice El Paso holds an annual memorial service for the families to honor their loved ones in our services.

Why should I choose Hospice El Paso over other care options?

Hospice El Paso has been the community’s leader in end of life care for over 37 years. Our hospice team exceeds all industry standards and certifications. Our hospice staff is the most qualified clinical team with overall hospice experience and compassionate care, including a physician, who is Board certified in hospice and palliative medicine and geriatric medicine.