Hospice Care

Also known as: End of Life Care

At Providence, we understand that patients and their loved ones experience many conflicting emotions when facing serious illnesses. In these times of great need, we are devoted to easing your way.

Hospice care is for people who are nearing the end of life. Unlike other medical care, the focus of hospice isn't to cure a disease. Our goal is to support the highest quality of life possible by embracing a holistic approach to your physical, emotional, social and spiritual care.

Whether you need inpatient hospice care or care in the comfort of your own home, you can rest assured your hospice team will create an atmosphere of compassion and dignity for you and your family. Trained in providing pain and symptom management, holistic care and guidance, your team of caregivers will work to ensure your time on hospice is one filled with attentive care. 

Because each family’s needs are unique, we build a supportive environment where you can voice your individual wishes about your plan of care, as well as seek answers to any questions you may have.

Our hospice care teams present and discuss your options and affirm that, at the end of the day, you’re in control of your care. We provide grief and loss counseling, planning assistance and help navigating the complicated medical system.

Grief often hits with an intensity that surprises and overwhelms us. We can't seem to do or accomplish anything. Our old coping skills, which performed so well in the past, fail to stem the flow of tears. Words of sympathy do little to dull the pain that flares inside us.

Providence offers support for children and adults who are grieving the loss of a significant person. We realize the importance of acknowledging the unique grieving process of every individual. Included in this acknowledgement is the understanding that grief has no timeline. We offer a variety of opportunities for ongoing support and education regarding grief, loss, and life adjustments following the death of a significant person. Our purpose is to help individuals, families and communities identify their needs and strengths and to provide them a supportive presence.

Grief support groups allow people to come together to help each other through their grief journeys. A group can be either open ended or time limited, created for adults, children or families. Group facilitators are trained and often have master’s degrees in counseling.

Grief support groups allow you to find a connection with others going through similar situations and gain acceptance and new ideas of how to cope. In most support groups, you can share as much or as little of your story as you want. Give yourself two or three sessions to decide if one is right for you.

Check our locations to find a grief support group near you.

  • What is hospice?

    Hospice provides comfort and support to patients and families facing a life-limiting illness. The goal of hospice care is quality of life and meeting the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of patients. We focus on comfort.

  • Who can receive hospice care?

    Hospice care is provided to anyone who has a medical condition with a prognosis of six months or less if the disease or condition runs its normal course. Hospice is for patients who have chosen to focus on comfort care.

  • Where does hospice care take place?

    Hospice care usually takes place in the comfort of your home but can be provided in any setting including skilled nursing homes, residential care facilities and the hospital.

  • Who pays for hospice care?

    Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial insurance plans pay for hospice services.

  • When should a decision be made to enter hospice and who makes it?

    At any time during a life-threatening illness when a cure is no longer possible or the patient makes a decision to discontinue curative care and focus on comfort. The decision to enter hospice care is made with the patient, family and their physician preferably as soon as it is clear that the focus is no longer on curing the illness. This allows for sufficient time for the hospice team to establish a relationship and manage the patient's symptoms.

  • What is Providence's position on provider-hastened death?

    We do not hasten death or prolong life. We provide compassionate care up to the patient’s final day of life. Learn more about our policy on care through the end of life.

Did you know that there are several myths about hospice care? Even healthcare professionals have some misconceptions about what hospice care is and who would benefit from this specialized end-of-life care.

  • Myth #1: Hospice is a place

    Fact: Hospice care usually takes place in the comfort of your home, but can be provided in many settings including skilled nursing homes, residential care facilities and the hospital.

  • Myth #2: Hospice is for the day of death

    Fact: Hospice was designed to meet the unique needs of terminally ill patients and their families during the last 6 months of life.

  • Myth #3: Hospice is only for cancer patients

    Fact: Hospice care is available for all individuals with a life-limiting illness. It is not limited by any specific diagnosis.

  • Myth #4: Patients can only receive hospice care for a limited amount of time

    Fact: The Medicare/Medicaid benefit and most commercial health plans cover hospice care as long as the patient continues to meet the necessary criteria. Some hospice patients stabilize and are discharged from service. These patients are allowed to come back onto service when they are more appropriate for hospice care.

  • Myth #5: Hospice patients must have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) status

    Fact: Hospice patients do not need to have a DNR in place to be admitted to hospice care.

  • Myth #6: Hospice patients can't have feeding tubes or IV hydration

    Fact: Each patient is evaluated on a case by case basis and receives the treatments necessary to provide support and comfort.

  • Myth #7: Hospice provides nursing care in the home 24 hours a day

    Fact: The Hospice Team makes intermittent visits to the patient in their home, Skilled Nursing Facility or Extended Care Facility. A Hospice Nurse is available by phone and visits when needed 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

  • Myth #8: Hospice care is expensive

    Fact: Medicare and Medicaid pay for hospice services at 100% coverage. Many commercial health plans now offer a hospice benefit with little out of pocket expenses to the patient or family. The financial burdens usually associated with caring for a terminally ill patient are minimal.

  • Myth #9: Hospice means giving up hope

    Fact: Caregivers at Providence recognize hope as a powerful, ever-changing force that continues throughout the time of living and the process of dying. Hospice offers hope that a secure, familiar care setting can be enjoyed, hope for freedom from fears of isolation, loneliness, loss of control, physical pain, and hope that your family will be nurtured and supported through comprehensive counseling services during the end-of-life journey and after a loved one's death.