Saint Francis Hospice Services
What is Hospice?
Hospice is a very special way of caring. It recognizes dying as a normal process of living and assists patients to live as comfortably as possible, with as much quality and dignity as possible, until the end. It is a model for quality, compassionate care at the end of life with emphasis on pain and symptom management, emotional and spiritual support for both patients and their families. It is the belief of Hospice that each individual has the right to die with dignity and to have the support needed to allow this to happen. This is done by providing a total support system to patients and families, which may allow patients to remain at home during the final stages of their illness. Hospice also provides care at several area skilled nursing facilities and for short-term terminal care, there are Hospice rooms available at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.
Hospice services are provided by an interdisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers whose primary goal is to coordinate the care and support of patients and their families. This team follows a personalized plan of care, which is developed for each patient and family.
- Services provided by Hospice include:
- Coordination with the patient's physician
- Regularly scheduled nursing visits
- Home health aides for personal care
- Physical, occupational and speech/language therapy
- Social service support for patient and family
- Pastoral care services
- Dietary counseling
- Volunteer support
- 24-hour on-call service
- Bereavement services
Hospice offers a support system to assist families before and after the death of a loved one. Contact is maintained for up to 13 months following the death of a patient through telephone calls, cards, written materials and visits. Referrals to support groups or individual counseling is available. An interfaith memorial service is held annually for family, friends and caregivers who have had a loved one die.
Volunteers play a major role in the Hospice program. They are specially trained by the Hospice staff in order to provide support and companionship to patients and families in their homes. Volunteers also assist with a wide range of additional duties, working together as a team with other Hospice members. For more information on volunteer services or on becoming a Hospice volunteer, please call our volunteer coordinator at the main number.
To be eligible for Hospice care the following criteria must be met:
- Prognosis by the attending physician of life expectancy of six months or less
- Understanding that the disease condition is irreversible with treatment directed towards comfort rather than cure
- Desire to receive Hospice care
- Availability of a primary care person, if needed
- Residency within the Saint Francis service area (Hartford County)
Family members, friends, health care professionals and patients may call for Hospice services. Each case is assessed individually to determine appropriateness for admission to the program. Hospice services are available to patients of any age, religion, race or illness.
Services are reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurers. A sliding fee scale is used when a patient cannot afford to pay for services. Hospice services are available to everyone, regardless of ability to pay.
For more information about Hospice services, bereavement services or volunteer opportunities, call 860-714-4682.