Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hospice?

Hospice is both a type of and philosophy of care that concentrates on treating you when you are terminally ill—not to stop the progression of your disease, but to lessen the severity of its progression—so that you may live the rest of your life in familiar surroundings with your loved ones and with personal dignity. It is for those who have a limited life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice not only addresses your needs, but the bereavement and spiritual needs of your friends and family as well.

Where is hospice care provided?

Care is provided based on your needs, whether it is in the home, in a hospital or a long-term care facility. While most patients live in their own homes or those of family members, hospice care can also be provided in adult family homes, assisted living facilities or nursing homes.

Who is eligible to receive hospice care?

Hospice care is available to an individual of any age who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and has been medically certified to have less than six months to live. Contact us to assess the needs of someone who has been stricken with a terminal illness and determine the appropriateness of Great Lakes Caring Hospice services.

Who pays for hospice? Is it covered by insurance?

Medicare Part A covers hospice services provided by Great Lakes Caring Hospice. Learn more about Medicare Part A here. Visit our payment page to get a better grasp of how hospice care is paid for. Or, contact us with a specific financial question and we will be happy to provide the answer.

When should a decision about entering a hospice program be made, and who should make it?

Hospice can be discussed with a physician or health care provider at any time during the course of a life-limiting disease. It is always important at such times to discuss all care options, including hospice. Most physicians are knowledgeable of hospice, and can recommend such care for their patients, but by law, the decision whether to elect hospice services is your decision.

We understand many people are uncomfortable with the idea of stopping all efforts to “cure” a disease. Great Lakes Caring Hospice staff members are highly sensitive to these concerns and are always available to discuss them with you or a loved one. Our goal is to provide you with the absolute best hospice care so that you may better enjoy the rest of your life with those you care about most.

What role does a physician play?

Personal physicians are an important part of the Great Lakes Caring Hospice collaborative team approach. Your physician provides the initial diagnosis and referral, and will stay involved throughout the course of care. While our hospice team provides day-to-day care, the physician continues to be available to you and your family while working to ensure that the best care possible is provided.

What happens if a patient outlives the 6-month prognosis?

People do sometimes live longer than their prognoses, especially if they are enjoying an enhanced quality of life. But, if the original terminal illness continues to progress, hospice care remains appropriate for such a situation. If your condition improves while receiving hospice care, it may be appropriate for you to revert back to normal home health services so that you can continue to work on treating your illness.

When your condition improves while under our care, the Great Lakes Caring Hospice staff will share all observations with you, your family and your referring physician, so that a total review of the available care options can take place, and a mutual decision for future care can be made.

Does Great Lakes Caring Hospice provide help to families after their loved ones have died?

Yes. Caring is our mission, and it extends to both you and your family. Care for bereaved family members continues after a loved one passes while on hospice. It includes grief counseling, support groups and written materials explaining the grief process.



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