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About Hospice Care

Hospice is not a place, but rather a special type of care. Hospice is designed to provide comfort and support for patients and their loved ones during an advanced illness. Unlike other types of healthcare, hospice seeks to provide expert comfort care when curative measures are no longer beneficial.

Hospice care is holistic care, focused on treating the mind, body and spirit so that the last months of life can be rich and meaningful. While serious illness affects how a person lives, much can be done to improve physical comfort and well-being.

Below are answers to common questions about hospice care:

When should I ask for hospice?

Hospice care is appropriate for those with an advanced illness for whom the burdens of treatment outweigh the benefits of those treatments. Many families tell us they wish they had contacted us sooner. We help people remain as mobile, alert and engaged as possible for as long as their conditions will allow. The earlier hospice becomes involved, the greater the benefits to you and your family. Studies show that many patients can live longer and have better quality of life if they start hospice care earlier.

If you have been told that you have a life expectancy of six to twelve months, you may qualify for hospice care. Call us at 912.265.4735, and one of our caring staff will be happy to listen and guide you.

If you are not ready or do not yet qualify for hospice, you may still benefit from non-hospice palliative support services, offered through a partnership with Southeast Georgia Health System.

Is hospice a place?

Hospice is not a place; it is a comprehensive program that provides expert care wherever the patient calls home, which is where most people say they want to be. Care can be provided any place the person resides, including a private residence, nursing home, assisted living facility, or an inpatient or residential care facility, such as our Hospice House.

How is hospice paid for?

Hospice care is a covered benefit under Medicare and Medicaid. Most private insurances also cover Hospice care. However, as a not-for-profit hospice, we serve all eligible patients who need and want our services, regardless of ability to pay.

Hospice is a home-based benefit, and home hospice services include visits by the hospice interdisciplinary team, medications, medical supplies and equipment, and 24/7 on-call availability. Patients who apply to become residents at our Hospice House pay an additional charge for room and board.

Does hospice mean giving up hope?

Hospice care promotes the best possible quality of life for patients with a life-limiting illness. Hospice differs from other types of healthcare because the focus is on providing comfort when curing an illness is no longer possible. This special care offers patients the opportunity to have pain and symptoms expertly treated, with the goal of retaining clarity to enjoy time with family and friends. Hospice care is about helping people do the things they love for as long as they are able.

Can I refer someone to hospice?

Yes. A physician’s order is required to admit you or your loved one into hospice care; however, anyone may request information or make a referral. There are many benefits to considering a referral to hospice care before the illness progresses to the point where quality of life is greatly diminished. Generally, our hospice team is able to admit a patient quickly after we receive a physician’s order.

Call us at 912.265.4735 for more information or refer a patient using this link. There is no obligation associated with your call. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you and your family so that you may better understand the special care Hospice of the Golden Isles provides.

Is there a limit to the hospice benefit?

Hospice care continues as long as you continue to qualify for hospice as determined by your physician.

If a patient chooses hospice care, can he or she return to curative treatment?

Patients always have the right to leave hospice care and choose another type of medical treatment at any time, for any reason. Eligible patients who have revoked or been discharged from hospice care and want to resume hospice services may do so with approval from the Hospice Medical Director.

Does the family benefit from hospice care?

Yes. Providing practical support to a patient’s loved ones is a top priority of hospice care. Our team members provide family members with expert caregiving instructions, counseling, emotional and spiritual support, 24/7 on-call services, medications and medical supplies and equipment, and information about what to expect at each stage of a patient’s illness. Our hospice also offers respite for caregivers (up to five days at our Hospice House or a contracted facility) to give them a temporary break from caregiving responsibilities as needed.

Are all hospices the same?

All licensed hospice programs must provide certain core services, but the quality of those services, the range of support services, and the types of programs they offer may differ. Some hospices are for-profit, while others are non-profit. As a not-for-profit hospice, Hospice of the Golden Isles (HGI) does whatever it takes to ensure your loved one’s comfort, regardless of age, sex, illness, religion, insurance, or ability to pay. At our community hospice, decisions are made to maximize care, not maximize profit. Learn more about what makes Hospice of the Golden Isles different.

If you have other questions or need more details on any of the above FAQs, please call us at 912.265.4735 or toll-free, 866.275.6801.