Hospice Services2023-12-26T16:55:20-05:00

Hospice Services

High Peaks Hospice provides the support needed to care for your loved one, wherever they call home.

Hospice care includes an interdisciplinary care team along with medications, equipment (such as wheelchairs, hospital bed, oxygen), supplies, and materials related to the hospice illness needed to address or prevent symptoms or discomfort.
The information, expertise, support, and resources our care team provides ensures the highest quality of life possible. It is meant to allow someone to live as fully and comfortably as possible every day. As a patient of High Peaks Hospice, you have options. We have many patients that continue to travel, visit their loved ones and take day trips and weekend get-a-ways.

We support one’s desire to live out life in the comfort of their home, surrounded by the people, pets and things that bring them comfort and joy.

Our care focuses not only on the person who is living with a terminal illness, but also on their family – however they define it.
Hospice care is not about dying, it’s about how you live – in comfort and with dignity. Patients are encouraged to articulate their preferences while participating in choices about their own care.

Once on service you will receive in-home visits from our Nurses and LPN’s; medications, equipment and supplies related to the hospice illness; emotional and practical support from our social workers (who can help with so much); spiritual support from our nondenominational chaplain; and support and company from a volunteer for tasks that become more difficult as the disease progresses. Lastly, you will have 24/7 access to contact us for questions or emergent visits.

Individuals on care and their families can opt to wait to utilize some of the available hospice services until they feel they would benefit them. The care team will make suggestions as to what can lead to the best comfort and care as time progresses. With hospice, it is all about filling your needs and wishes and keeping you comfortable how and where you want to be.

With our emphasis on pain control and symptom management, patients are given comfort so they may enjoy the time they have with those they love. Loved ones, in turn, will be supported and taught how to best care for their loved one now and looking ahead into the future.

Where is care provided?

Whenever possible, care is given in the location where the patient feels most comfortable, most often in the familiar surroundings of their home. Hospice care may additionally be provided in the home of a loved one, assisted living facility, skilled nursing facility, or even a hospital.

When should you reach out for Hospice Services?

Soon after a terminal diagnosis of six months or less is the optimal time to enter hospice. In general, if treatment no longer works or is no longer desired, or a significant decline in status has occurred, you should call our hospice office to discuss the options available to you.

There is no need to wait until a crisis occurs. Unfortunately, many patients wait until the very end before calling hospice and miss out on the comfort and peace of mind that hospice can provide. It is never too early to contact us, we are here to help patients to LIVE their best life at the end of life. A common statement that we receive on our Patient Satisfaction Surveys is, “We wish we had called sooner.”

Even without a prognosis, there are some common signs it is time to call for a hospice evaluation.

  • Frequent hospitalizations
  • Increased weakness
  • The decrease in ability to function
  • Progressive unintentional weight loss/gain
  • Increased oxygen dependency
  • Dementia with the inability to communicate
  • A preference to stop curative treatments that are either ineffective or causing discomfort.
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Desire to focus on comfort care

We believe that when it comes to your health, it is your choice. Our team, along with the patient and their loved ones will create a plan of care to address the physical, emotional, spiritual and practical needs based on your choices. Our staff can answer questions and help you to understand the process as well as offering options for care that you may not have considered. Patient and family wishes and choices are taken into consideration at all times.

High Peaks Hospice provides specialized care that meets the needs and desires of people living with a terminal illness and those who care for them.

How are hospice services paid for?

Hospice is considered skilled health services and is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private health insurance plans. Provided all eligibility requirements are met, Hospice services are covered by the Hospice Benefit under Medicare with no copays or deductibles.

No one is refused care due to inability to pay. To cover expenses not reimbursed by insurance, we rely on the generosity of private individuals as well as community support.

Hospice is a gift to those on their final journey.

Free informational sessions are available to any family considering hospice services. Connect with us to learn more. We’re just a call away.

Request your hospice info packet today

Common Questions

  • Relieves pain and suffering
  • Emphasizes that the patient and family is the unit of care
  • Offers compassionate care
  • Respects patient goals and desires and encourages participation
  • Addresses physical, emotional, spiritual and social issues with its team of professionals
  • Builds a network of support to alleviate the burden on the patient and family
  • Helps patients with activities of daily living
  • Provides education about the disease and changes which may occur
  • Teaches the family how best to provide care
  • Provides bereavement services for the family
  • Does whatever necessary to maintain dignity and provide quality of life for patient and family
  • Medications- Hospice provides medications for relief of symptoms related to terminal diagnosis
  • Equipment- Hospice provides all equipment needed to make the patient comfortable such as hospital beds, oxygen, wheel chairs and other necessary medical equipment.
  • 24/7 Access to Registered Nurses – Our RN’s can be reached any time.
  • Social Worker is available for in home counseling with patients and families.
  • Bereavement counseling is provided prior to and for 13 months following the passing of loved one. Support and education groups are available for adults and children.
  • Spiritual and Pastoral Care is offered to those who desire it.
  • Trained volunteers are available for respite and emotional support
  • Licensed Practical Nurses are available to provide personal care and support the RN.

Most people, when asked where they would like to spend the end of their lives respond without hesitation,” At home.” At home they are surrounded by the familiar – their pets, their loved ones, their memories. For this reason hospice care is most often provided in their home. But whether home is a private residence, an apartment, a group home, or a nursing facility – Hospice is where the home is.

Hospice staff and volunteers provide services in your “home” – wherever that is.

Short inpatient care is available for control of symptoms that cannot be addressed at home. It is also available for respite for caregivers on a short-term basis.

Please note that High Peaks Hospice and Palliative Care is willing to arrange care in almost any setting that wishes to collaborate with hospice staff in
enhancing the quality of life of the patient.

Advance directives are legal documents that ensure your wishes are followed if you cannot make decisions for yourself.

Advance directives are not just for the elderly! Anyone over the age of 18 should have an advance directive.

There are times when people- even young, healthy people- can’t make their own decisions about medical care.

  • You could be injured in an accident and arrive at the hospital unconscious.
  • You might be under general anesthesia for routine surgery when something unexpected happens.
  • You could have an illness that leaves you unable to speak, or you are comotose.

Let’s get started!

Are you ready to start planning your health care in advance? Download this comprehensive, easy to follow  guide to completing an advance directive  Planning_Your_Health_Care_in_Advance.pdf

For more information about advance directives or to schedule an educational event contact a location nearest you.

Palliative care can be defined simply as “comfort” care – the relieving and preventing of suffering. This is what hospice is about. Hospice staff members receive advanced training in identifying, controlling, alleviating and preventing symptoms as much as possible. Not everything can be prevented, but hospice staff members have years of training and experience that helps people become, and stay, comfortable and as active as possible. Registered Nurses and physicians reassess the patients pain on a regular basis – and make adjustments as needed to assure the greatest level of comfort as the disease progresses.

Hospice team members will recommend options for symptom management in consultation with your physician. The individual, family and caregivers are strongly encouraged to be involved in examining options and participating in creating a plan that addresses their needs.

View the NHDD “Speak Up” video here

Advance care planning is making decisions about the healthcare you would want to receive if you happen to become unable to speak for yourself. These are your decisions to make, regardless of what you choose for your care, and the decisions are based on your personal values, preferences, and discussions with your loved ones.

Advance care planning includes:

  • Getting information on the types of life-sustaining treatments that are available.
  • Deciding what types of treatment you would or would not want should you be diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.
  • Sharing your personal values with your loved ones.
  • Completing advance directives to put into writing what types of treatment you would or would not want- and who you choose to speak for you- should you be unable to speak for yourself
Request your Hospice info packet

Hospice Myths

Hospice means hopeless, it is “giving up”.2019-01-25T00:35:23-05:00

Choosing hospice does not mean a death sentence. What hospice does mean is a total change of focus. It means the person is in control: making choices about what is most important in his or her life. Hospice philosophy emphasizes the creative and positive outcomes to be realized by defining and achieving personal goals and by living life as fully as possible.

It is not uncommon for people entering hospice care to experience an improved sense of well being and comfort. This sometimes happens because pain management and symptom control issues are openly discussed and effectively resolved. Sometimes, this sense of well-being is a reflection of the person’s sense of control gained from defining her/his goals and from active participation in developing the plan of care.

Living with end-stage disease and dying well takes work. Hospice workers handle that job very well and help people in hospice and their families to have some of the most memorable moments of their lives.

To be eligible for hospice, I have to be in the final stages of dying.2019-01-25T00:34:34-05:00

Every hospice experience is unique, but one key thing families tell us about hospice is that “we wish we had known about hospice sooner”. Hospice team members also know that having more time to work with a person and family means better quality of life. Because the goal of hospice is to achieve the highest quality of life possible, some people may actually live longer than expected without the burden of symptoms and aggressive care.

People on hospice care and their families receive care for an unlimited amount of time, depending upon the course of the illness. There is no fixed limit on the amount of time a person may continue to receive hospice services.

Hospice is a place where people go to die, I have to leave my home.2019-01-25T00:33:39-05:00

Hospice isn’t really about dying. Hospice is about living as well as one can every day we have. It is about adding life, quality of life, to someone’s final days, weeks or months. Hospice is a program of services available to the person and her/his loved ones where ever they may be. Most hospice care takes place where the person already lives: in their own home or a family member’s, a nursing home, or an assisted living facility.

Hospice is when there is nothing more a doctor can do.2019-01-25T00:32:29-05:00

Hospice is care designed for people living with a life-limiting illness. There is so much more that can be done to assist individuals and families in living their lives fully, completely, and without pain until the end of their lives.

Hospice care is only for cancer patients.2021-06-08T11:13:16-04:00

More than 50% of people on hospice are diagnosed with conditions other than cancer. Anyone with a life-limiting illness can receive hospice care. Heart disease, kidney disease, COPD and dementia are a few of the illnesses that can benefit from hospice services.

You must have a “Do Not Resuscitate” order while in hospice.2019-01-25T00:29:21-05:00

This is an individual/family choice. A person can certainly choose to be resuscitated. The hospice will generally not provide this type of care, but will explain what you need to do to access such services. The hospice team will provide information that might be useful in making such decisions.

You must have a primary care giver to be eligible for hospice.2019-01-25T00:28:21-05:00

In the past, some hospices required a primary care giver because the hospice cannot provide 24 hour care except in crisis situations. Most hospices do not require this any longer. The hospice will ask you to make a plan for what will happen when you need round the clock care.

Families are not able to care for people with life limiting illnesses.2019-01-25T00:27:20-05:00

Family members and friends are encouraged, supported, and trained by hospice professionals to care for their loved ones. Hospice staff is on call to the individual and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help family and friends care for their loved ones.

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