Services & FAQ
Hospice care is for individuals with a serious illness typically in the last six months of life. The services at Heart of Georgia Hospice include a team of highly trained professionals that work with the patient and family to identify goals of care and enhance quality of life. Hospice also provides all the medications, supplies and medical equipment related to the terminal diagnosis. Heart of Georgia Hospice also has on staff a Dietitian, Physical Therapist, Speech Therapist, and Occupational Therapists should our patients need their services.
Patients who meet the following criteria and live in the local area, are eligible for admission to Heart of Georgia Hospice:
-have approximately six months or less to live if the disease progresses as expected
-have elected treatments aimed at improving quality of life and providing comfort rather than curing the terminal disease
In most cases a team member can respond within 24 hours of referral to begin the admission process.
The process begins with a referral from the patient’s physician. Once Heart of Georgia Hospice receives the referral, one of our clinical staff, typically the Admissions Nurse, will contact the patient or family member and set up an appointment to come sit down and discuss Hospice services, qualifications, and expectations of Hospice and families.
The Center to Advance Palliative Care defines palliative care as “specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. This type of care is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and family. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative treatment.”
People often use the words hospice care and palliative care interchangeably. Both hospice care and palliative care provide an interdisciplinary approach to pain and symptom management with a goal of improving quality of life for the patient and family. Palliative care is much broader than hospice care as it is a service for any individual with serious illness while hospice care is for individuals in the last six months of life. Click here for more information on palliative care.
Do you really know hospice? You’ve probably heard some of these common myths below.
- Myth 1
Hospice care is only for people with cancer.
Fact: Hospice care is for all patients facing any terminal illness.
- Myth 2
Accepting hospice services means giving up, so you should put it off until the last moment.
Fact: Hospice is all about living life to the fullest. A recurring comment from patients and families is “I wish I had called hospice sooner.”
- Myth 3
Hospice care will be a financial drain on the family.
Fact: Hospice care is a benefit provided by Medicare, Medicaid, most private insurance, the Department of Veteran Affairs. If you have none of those benefits or insurances please contact us anyways and let us work to help you.
- Myth 4
You can’t keep your own doctor if you become a hospice patient.
Fact: Hospice works closely with your physician to provide the best care for you.