An Overview of Hospice Care

Hospice & Community Care, founded as Hospice of Lancaster County, embraces all people. We provide care, comfort, support and choice to individuals and families coping with death as a natural passage through the journey of life.

Hospice care focuses on comfort for adults and children who have weeks or months rather than years to live. Hospice is for people with any serious illness. Care can be provided at home, in a nursing home, hospital, or Hospice & Community Care's Inpatient Hospice Center. Learn when it's a good time to call hospice.

What types of illnesses can hospice care benefit?
Hospice care is beneficial for people of any age with any life-limiting illness. Many people mistakenly think that hospice care is only for cancer patients. The leading causes of death in our community are lung, heart and kidney diseases, Alzheimer's, other types of dementias, stroke, neuromuscular diseases, and many other illnesses, as well as the natural decline of old age, all of which can be helped by the comfort and support of hospice.

Who provides hospice care?
Hospice patients are assigned to a team of professionals who are specially trained in hospice and end-of-life care. Part of the team is your own physician who continues to manage all medical care. Pharmacy items and in-house medical supplies are ordered by the physician and can be coordinated by hospice staff.

  • Registered nurses provide direct patient care and support to caregivers. RNs are highly trained and work closely with the patient's physician to provide effective pain and symptom management. They schedule their visits and maintain contact with the patient and the caregiver on a regular basis. In addition, nurses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to all questions and concerns.

  • Licensed practical nurses and hospice aides assist families and provide personal care under the direction of the hospice RN case manager.

  • Hospice aides assist with personal care, including bathing, dressing, oral and nail care and homemaker services in the Inpatient Center and Nursing facilities.

  • Social workers are available to provide emotional support, counseling or assistance with community resources for families. Individual sessions or group meetings can often help in dealing with the stress of illness and increased care needs.

  • Chaplains are sensitive to the spiritual needs of individuals facing life-limiting illness. The spiritual care staff are available to hospice patients and their caregivers and work closely with their clergy or other spiritual support systems in the community.

  • Hospice physicians and nurse practitioners may visit patients and families to help manage symptoms, discuss treatment options and plan medical care.

  • Complementary therapists Includes our on-staff massage and music therapists, available to patients to relieve pain, bring comfort and provide support.

  • Volunteers visit patients at home, in nursing homes or our Inpatient Center. They also check on deliveries of equipment or medication. Volunteers provide a friendly smile, a listening ear, a helping hand. They complete an in-depth training program before assisting our patients and their families.

Should other special services become necessary, Hospice & Community Care staff can coordinate them. These may include dietary counseling, physical therapy or respiratory therapy.

Where can I receive hospice care?
Hospice care is provided for patients in their homes, in nursing homes and retirement communities, in the hospital or in Hospice & Community Care's Inpatient Center in Mount Joy. Inpatient care, as part of hospice care, is arranged through the physician and the hospice nurse. Inpatient care may be given at the hospice center or at area hospitals, depending on the need.

How do I pay for hospice care?
Medicare and most health insurance companies cover some or all hospice services. We will assist in clarifying coverage. No one ever is denied service because of inadequate insurance coverage or inability to pay for our hospice services. Learn more about the Hospice Medicare Benefit.

Click here to read stories of previous hospice patients and their families.

women of Jewish faith Hospice Care for the Jewish Community
Hospice & Community Care collaborates with the Jewish community and area rabbis to meet the diverse cultural, spiritual and religious needs of Jewish patients and families.

Since 2008, Hospice & Community Care, founded as Hospice of Lancaster County, has been recognized by the NIJH as an accredited Jewish hospice providing quality end-of-life care for Jewish patients and families.

Hospice & Community Care maintains a Jewish Resource Team to provide resources, education and outreach to hospice staff, patients and their caregivers in response to specific needs and questions.

As part of Hospice & Community Care's accreditation as a Jewish Hospice, staff representatives participate each year in the NIJH Annual Conference. Past sessions have included lectures on Jewish cultural traditions and values that enhance the meaning of life and death, Jewish Medical Ethics and Jewish aspects of Consolation and Bereavement.

Latino Women Hospice Care for the Latino Community
Hospice & Community Care provides Spanish-speaking professionals (nurses, social workers, chaplains), interpreter services and information brochures in Spanish for patients and their families.

Cuidado de Hospicio para la Comunidad Latina
Hospicio y Cuidado Comunitario fundado como Hospicio de Lancaster es dedicado a proveer personal profesional, voluntarios, servicios de intérpretes, y folletos de informacíon en español para pacientes y sus familias.  Comodidad y atención cuando más se necesita.

Caring for Those who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Hospice & Community Care strives for excellence in care for everyone we serve and provides a patient-friendly approach to communicating with those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Thanks to funding for 2012 provided by Hospice & Community Care's Women's Giving Circle, video remote interpreting services enable our Inpatient staff to provide a more patient-friendly approach to communicating with patients receiving care in the Mount Joy Inpatient Center who are deaf or hard of hearing. This video remote service utilizes an over-the-phone interpreter who communicates through a screen, camera and high speed internet connection. This technology ensures Hospice can provide services at any time versus waiting for an on-site interpreter.

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For us, Hospice is the essence of love, understanding and support for their fellow man and will always have my support. Thanks!
The Doerschuk Families
Lancaster, PA