Overview of Hospice Services
Heritage Hospice, Inc. provides compassionate care for patients and families during the journey through life-limiting illness. Heritage Hospice serves the Central Kentucky counties of Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer.
Would you like a speaker to come to your group?Heritage Hospice would welcome the opportunity to have a speaker come to your club meeting, church or industry. We can talk about hospice services but also have programs to help support and educate people who are struggling with many types of issues. Some topics include: Care Giving At Life's End; Grief and Bereavement; Grief and the Holidays; Preparing Advance Directives; and How to Help Caregivers. To schedule a program, please call community liaison Sharon Martin at (859) 324-5790 or Emily Toadvine at (859) 324-2944.
Hospice Care ...
- Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
- Neither hastens nor postpones death;
- Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;
- Integrates the psychological, spiritual, and social aspects of patient care; and
- Offers a support system to help the family cope during the patient's illness and their own bereavement.
About Hospice Care
When is it time for hospice?Please click here to download a list of questions to help you decide if it's time to call hospice.
Hospice care is for the patient whose illness is no longer responding to aggressive curative treatment. Patients must have been diagnosed with an illness that cannot be cured with a life expectancy of six months or less. Hospice addresses all symptoms of the disease with special emphasis on controlling the patient's pain and discomfort.
The hospice philosophy holds that end-of-life care should emphasize quality of life. The object is to treat the whole person, and not just the disease. The hospice philosophy focuses on patient/family-centered care that addresses the physical, spiritual, emotional, and practical needs of the patient.
The hospice team
The hospice team includes registered nurses on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Other members of the team are social workers, chaplains, skilled hospice aides who assist with bathing and dressing and volunteers who offer companionship and rest periods for caregivers. Hospice's medical director is available to assist a patient's doctor and nurse with hospice care decisions and make visits to patients.
Hospice cares for people where they live.Although some hospice care is provided in hospitals, in-patient hospice facilities or nursing homes, the vast majority of patients are cared for in the place they call home.
A look at hospice care in nursing homesHeritage Hospice offers care in all of this area’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The Medicare hospice benefit has expanded considerably into the nursing home setting in recent years. Hospice believes nursing home patients are entitled to the same services they would receive at home. The hospice team will collaborate with the skilled nursing facility, pharmacy and patient’s doctor to meet the patient’s and family’s goals for quality of life and symptom control. Advantages may include:
- A decrease in the amount of out-of-pocket expenses by the patient and family.
- Medicine related to the terminal diagnosis.
- Hospitalizations related to the terminal diagnosis.
- Medical equipment and supplies related to the terminal diagnosis.
- Authorized labs and diagnostic testing related to the terminal diagnosis.
What does hospice care cost?
Most insurance companies offer a hospice benefit. Medicare and Medicaid also provide coverage as it applies to the individual case. If a patient does not have insurance or Medicare, the hospice team will determine their eligibility for coverage; however, hospice accepts all patients meeting admission criteria regardless of their ability to pay. In addition, hospice provides all medications, services, and equipment related to the terminal illness.
Hospice care is not limited to cancer patients.
Some people think hospice is only for people with cancer, but about half of hospice referrals are made for other illnesses. Hospice is for people with Alzheimer's, COPD, cardiac, liver and kidney diseases, or any life-limiting illness. America's hospices are leaders in caring for patients with HIV/AIDS. Hospice patients include young people and even children.
How is hospice care different from home health care?
Comfort vs. cure: For most home health care providers, the goal is to get the patient well. In hospice, the staff and family recognize that the patient will not get well. They focus on comfort and support rather than cure.
Interdisciplinary team approach: All members of the care team -- the medical director, nurses, social workers, grief support counselor, chaplains, skilled nursing aides and volunteers -- work together to coordinate care. Home health limits visits by social workers and skilled nursing aides and does not provide support from chaplains or volunteers.
Family focus: Heritage Hospice's palliative care focuses on the entire family. The hospice team teaches the family how to be involved in their loved one's care.
Grief support: Hospice care does not end when a patient dies. Hospice's grief support staff and volunteers maintain contact with the family for up to 13 months after the death of a patient.
We are licensed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and are certified as a Medicare/Medicaid Hospice. We are a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the Kentucky Association of Hospice and Palliative Care, and the Kentucky Hospice Network.
Other ways hospice helps
- Provides medications, equipment and supplies.
- Provides grief and bereavement services. The support group, Pathways, meets monthly and covers topics such as: grief and loss, grief and the family, facing emotions of grief, picking up the pieces, healthy coping and other areas.
- Offers a Transitions program for people undergoing curative as well as palliative treatment. This free program is for individuals with a terminal illness who have a prognosis of one year or less to live. A case manager provides families with counseling and links to community resources. Families also work with a volunteer who provides respite for caregivers.