When to Call

Supportive Care provides help and support during the early stages of a serious illness. Hospice & Community Care’s Supportive Care program assists patients in preventing and managing the symptoms related to their illness, and helps them and their families discover what is most important to them and how to make it happen.

“The Supportive Care team sees patients during a very sensitive time of their illness, they are often making impactful decisions about their advance directives and end-of-life journey,” says Steve Sensenich, RN, CHPN and Supportive Care Team Leader. “Being able to be part of their care plan we can help the patient make informed decisions about moving forward with curative treatment. We help the patient to feel confident so they can focus on quality of life and have someone there to walk with them through it. When we serve a patient earlier, we can work on goals during a time of high anxiety and need. We are there to address questions and alleviate misconceptions.”

The best way to determine if you or your loved could be helped by Hospice & Community Care’s Supportive Care program is to call us at (717) 391-2421 or (844) 422-4031. You may also email us at info@hospicecommunity.org and someone will contact you. We will be happy to talk with you, answer questions that you may have and determine what help you or your loved one may need. One of our nurses may suggest a visit with you to see how we can best help you. There is no cost or obligation to you in any way.

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

Your physician may suggest to you that you or your family could benefit from some additional help in dealing with symptoms from a serious illness. Physicians may present options to their patients to help provide better quality of life when coping with the challenges that illness often brings. For patients who are receiving curative treatment for their illness, Supportive Care may be helpful.

“Having Supportive Care is like having a nurse in the family. We are able to give advice about procedures, act as a liaison between the patient and doctor, and even provide questions for the patient to address at doctor appointments. Supportive Care helps keep patients out of the hospital by giving the patient 24-hour access to a hospice nurse.”  

 It is important that you and your doctor talk openly and determine what your goals are for maintaining your best quality of life.

What are some signs that a person may benefit from Supportive Care?

You or a family member may benefit from Supportive Care if you have experienced:

  • 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 supportive care?

Supportive Care is for anyone who is coping with the challenges of a serious illness, and who chooses to continue receiving curative treatments. Anyone who has been hospitalized due to their serious illness, but is not ready or does not quality for hospice care, may also be eligible for supportive care.

What are some signs that our family could benefit from supportive care?

Caring for yourself as you support your family member who is ill one of the most important things you can do. Hospice & Community Care supports the family as well as the person who is ill.  You and your family may benefit from supportive care if:

  • 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.

Should we call even if we don’t know if we need help?

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 supportive care would be beneficial, we will contact your doctor with your permission to discuss your care.

Call us at (717) 391-2421 or (844) 422-4031 or click here to email us and we will contact you.