When to Call

The best way to determine if you or your loved could be helped by Hospice & Community Care is to call us at (717) 391-2421 or you may email us at info@hospicecommunity.org, and someone will contact you. There is no cost and calling does not commit you or your loved one to hospice care. Review the following frequently asked questions when wondering if hospice care could be the right choice for you.

Will our physician tell us when it’s time for hospice?

Often, your physician is the first to mention the possibility of hospice care; however, some physicians hesitate to bring up hospice because they sincerely want to preserve hope for a cure. Frequently, they will continue to pursue treatment because they think that’s what the patient and family want. In other cases, such as with congestive heart failure or lung disease (COPD), it may be difficult for physicians to predict the rate of a patient’s decline. When a doctor mentions hospice care, he or she is simply presenting an option for comfort, which in many cases may actually lengthen life by increasing the quality of the time remaining. It is important that you and your doctor talk openly and share the same goals for maintaining quality of life.

What are some signs that a person may be ready for hospice care?

  • An increase in pain, nausea or breathing distress
  • Repeated hospitalizations or trips to the emergency room
  • Failure to ‘bounce back’ after medical set-backs
  • Decrease in function requiring assistance walking, eating, bathing, dressing and/or going to the toilet
  • Decreased alertness – patient is emotionally withdrawn, sleeping more or having increased difficulty with comprehension
  • Significantly decreased appetite and weight loss

When is someone eligible for hospice care?

Hospice cares for anyone with a limited life expectancy, and supports those who choose to continue receiving curative treatments. Anyone coping with a serious illness in our community may be eligible for care, regardless of financial resources. We can help to determine your eligibility to receive hospice care and insurance coverage.

What are some signs that our family could benefit from hospice?

Caring for yourself as your loved one’s caregiver is one of the most important things you can do. Hospice & Community Care supports the family in conjunction with the patient.

  • You or your caregivers are physically and/or emotionally exhausted from caring for you or your loved one.
  • Your family is feeling isolated because of the demands or uncertainties you feel about your loved one’s future.
  • You or members of your family need emotional support to cope with what is occurring in your life.
  • You are overwhelmed by the physical, financial, emotional and spiritual concerns arising because of the illness.

Can we call Hospice & Community Care even if we don’t think it’s time?

Absolutely. An important part of our mission is providing guidance to families about any end-of-life care issue, whether or not they’re in our program. You don’t need a physician referral to call us for information. If it appears that hospice care would be beneficial, we will contact your doctor with your permission to discuss hospice care. Call us at (717) 391-2421 or click here to email us and we will contact you.