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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I receive Hospice services?
Must I be diagnosed with cancer to receive Hospice care?
Who works on the Hospice team?
Where is care provided?
Who pays for Hospice? Is hospice care covered by insurance?
Is Hospice only for the elderly?
Does Hospice care emphasize talking about death?
What services do volunteers provide?
What are advance directives?
What should Hospice patients do when unexpected medical crises occur?
How can I have services explained to me or my family?
Should I wait for the physician to discuss hospice or should I mention it first?
Can a hospice patient who shows signs of recovery be returned to regular medical treatment?
Must someone be with the patient at all times?
My loved one lives in a nursing home. Will hospice care for him/her there?
How does hospice manage physical pain?
Does hospice provide sitter services?

How do I receive Hospice services?

To receive Hospice services from the Hospice of Western Kentucky, the patient must reside in Daviess, Hancock, Hopkins or Muhlenberg Counties in Kentucky and be diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, certified by a physician, and with a life expectancy of six months or less. If necessary, Hospice can assist in finding a qualified physician.
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Must I be diagnosed with cancer to receive Hospice care?

No. Any person with a life-limiting illness and a prognosis of six (6) months or less, if the disease progresses as expected, may receive Hospice care.
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Who works on the Hospice team?

Typically, the members of the team include a physician, nurse, spiritual counselor, social worker, personal-care specialist, bereavement coordinator, and a volunteer.
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Where is care provided?

Hospice cares for patients in a setting that best suits the patient and caregiver needs--the patient's own home, whether that be their home, a family member's home, an assisted-living facility, or nursing home. Care can also be provided in the hospital.
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Who pays for Hospice? Is hospice care covered by insurance?

It is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance providers. To confirm individual coverage, families should check with their employer or health insurance provider. If the patient is not covered by Medicare or any other health insurance, our social workers will assist families if finding out whether the patient is eligible for any coverage or support that is not being utilized. No patient is turned away, regardless of the ability to pay.
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Is Hospice only for the elderly?

No. Just as persons of all ages may face a difficult diagnosis, persons of all ages may receive Hospice care. Hospice of Western Kentucky has served patients as young as three months, many over age 100, and those of all ages in between.
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Does Hospice care emphasize talking about death?

Hospice emphasizes living each day to the fullest. Hospice offers services that patients and families want and need; we allow them to express and accept their emotions as they desire.
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What services do volunteers provide?

Volunteers may help patients and families with companionship, support and respite. Other volunteers help office personnel with the day-to-day operations.
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What are advance directives?

These documents allow patients to decide and express the kind of medical treatment acceptable in the event a patient becomes unable to communicate those wishes.
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What should Hospice patients do when unexpected medical crises occur?

Do not call 911. The patient or caregiver should call Hospice's twenty-four (24) hour number (270) 926-7565 or (800) 466-5348 so our staff can respond immediately.
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How can I have services explained to me or my family?

You may call the Hospice of Western Kentucky office at (270) 926-7565.
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Should I wait for the physician to discuss hospice or should I mention it first?

You or your family should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with your physician, other health care professionals, clergy or friends.
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Can a hospice patient who shows signs of recovery return to regular medical treatment?

Yes. Sometimes, after receiving aggressive pain and symptom management from a hospice, the patient's condition improves and he/she is able to resume curative treatments. In this case, the patient can choose to be discharged from hospice. If the patient should later need hospice care, they may return.
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Must someone be with the patient at all times?

That is determined by the patient and the amount and type of care required. You may want to talk to the patient about how they feel about being alone. You can also discuss this with your hospice team to determine when and if the patient should not be left alone.
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My loved one lives in a nursing home. Will hospice care for him/her there?

Hospice of Western Kentucky provides services to eligible patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as private residences.
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How does hospice manage physical pain?

Your physician and nurse will work with you so that you are as pain free and alert as possible. Our goal is to manage physical pain within 48 hours.
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Does hospice provide sitter services?

No, Hospice of Western Kentucky does not provide sitters.
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