Our Hospice Program is committed to caring for patients and families who face end-stage illness. We help patients manage pain and symptoms, while focusing on emotional and spiritual comfort and supporting them in making important decisions and enhancing their quality of life.
There is still hope when entering into hospice care. The hope shifts. It is hope for a quality life, taken day-by-day, during the advanced stage of illness. Hospice care recognizes death as the final stage of life, and seeks to enable patients to continue an alert, pain-free life, and to manage other symptoms, so that their last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Hospice services at Middlesex Health include:
- Management of symptoms and medications
- Help with nutritional needs
- Emotional support
- Coordination of care
- Personal care
- Education on illness-related issues
- Assistance with resource planning
- Caregiver assistance
- Spiritual counseling
- Holistic services (such as art, music, Reiki)
- Bereavement counseling
Our fees are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance or direct payment—and, in case of financial need, we’ll make every effort to adjust payments depending on the services needed and any outside resources available.
Because most hospice and palliative care patients prefer to be treated in their own homes, our hospice program is primarily home-based—but we also use skilled nursing facilities and assisted living residencies as necessary. Sometimes, as the patient’s needs change, we may need to refer them to their doctor or a hospital, but it’s important to know that, if desired, patients who are treated in hospice can return to their home once symptoms are managed.
We also can offer care in our Comfort Care unit. Located at Middlesex Hospital, the unit is specifically designed for patients in need of short-term hospital care for symptom control. It offers a warm and home-like setting for both patients and family members.
We use a team approach to care, including a nurse who provides special education and communication to patients, their families and the skilled nursing facility staff—along with board-certified doctors, registered nurses, social workers, home health aides, and specially trained volunteers.
Hospice care is appropriate for patients whose life expectancy is about six months, and the focus of the care is on quality of life. Patients can be referred by their attending physician, a nurse, social worker, or discharge planner. Family members can request hospice services for their loved ones or a patient can self-refer. You can also ask your physician to call us for an assessment.