Ensuring the highest quality of life for whatever time remains.
Support and Comfort When You Need
Hospice Care, also known as Comfort Care, is designed for people who are nearing the end of life. Unlike other medical care, the focus of hospice isn't to cure patients, but instead to control their pain make them comfortable and ensure the highest quality of life for whatever time remains. Hospice care can be provided in homes, hospitals, long-term care facilities or assisted living centers.
Those who are eligible include anyone with a disease that cannot be cured and whose life expectancy can be expressed in months, weeks or days. We have expertise in caring for individuals with cancer, lung disease, heart disease, liver problems, AIDS, neurological disorders, kidney issues, diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer's.
When is The Right Time?
If you've contemplated this question, you or your loved one may be eligible to receive this added layer of uniquely specialized care and support. Hospice Care improves quality of life by managing pain and other symptoms and improves the family/caregiver's lives by having a team of experts they can depend on, seek advice and guidance from, and receive teaching and support during this difficult time. It may be time to talk about Hospice if any of the following apply:
- Frequent/reoccurring infections, increase in falls and/or skin tears
- Frequent trips to the doctor, emergency room and/or hospitalizations
- Symptoms, such as uncontrolled pain, shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, are getting harder to manage
- Reduced desire to eat/drink leading to weight loss
- Spends a significant amount of the day sleeping or in a chair
- Withdrawal from surroundings and others, talking less, decreased alertness and confusion/restlessness
- Steady decline in health over the past six months, even with aggressive treatments/interventions, and no longer desiring treatments
- Requiring assistance from others to perform activities of daily living, such as eating, cooking, personal care, dressing, bathing and/or walking
- Diagnosed with a life-limiting condition with a prognosis of six months or less of their disease runs its normal course
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much does Hospice/Comfort Care cost?
Hospice/Comfort Care is covered 100% by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance providers.
Q. Do I have to go back to the hospital if I enroll in Hospice/Comfort Care?
No. Typically 911/Emergency Services will not be utilized. Our staff will make every attempt to provide the care needed to stay home.
Q. Does Hospice provide 24-hour care in my home?
No. Hospice/Comfort Care is intermittent care designed to educate and support family/caregivers, not replace them.
Q. Do I have to go somewhere to receive services?
No. We come to you and provide care wherever you may be residing. Hospice is not a place, but a philosophy of care.
Q. Can I change my mind about services after I've enrolled?
Yes. Services can be revoked at any time and re-elected later if desired.
Q. How do I start the process?
Hospice is most beneficial when it's started long before the final weeks of a person's life. Discuss the option with your physician. Call us at 812.933.5125 to schedule a time for our clinicians to come to you for an assessment or to answer any questions you may have about Hospice/Comfort Care.
Hospice/Comfort Care surrounds the patient and their family with a team of professionals who not only address physical symptoms, but emotional and spiritual issues, too. Our staff is on call and available 24/7. We are happy to prove the following services:
- Physician: Each patient chooses a primary doctor. This can be your current primary care provider or a hospice doctor to oversee your care.
- Nursing: Our nursing staff comes to you to prove the care. They are responsible for monitoring symptoms and coordinating care.
- Home Health Aides: Aides assist with extra support for personal care, including dressing, bathing and eating.
- Social Services: Our social workers provide emotional support and counseling. They also provide referrals to other support systems.
- Spiritual Support: Our non-denominational chaplain can provide spiritual care and guidance for the entire family, or serve as a connection to clergy of your choosing.
- Volunteers: Our volunteers offer a variety of services, including providing company or much needed respite for caregivers.
- Pharmacists: Our pharmacists provide medication oversight and make suggestions regarding the most effective ways to relieve symptoms.
- Other professionals: Occupational, physical and speech therapists are available if needed.
Other services include:
- Most medications are covered and delivered to your door.
- Most medical equipment and supplies needed to meet your needs are provided.
- Bereavement counseling is available for one year following the death of a loved one.
Our Service Area
Our patients are important to us from the beginning to end of life and every point in between. Hospice/Comfort Care can be provided in homes, hospitals, long-term care facilities or assisted living centers.
We proudly serve communities within a 35-mile radius, including the following counties:
Become A Hospice Volunteer
At Margaret Mary Health, our Hospice volunteers are an important part of our healthcare team. Not only do they fill the gaps between loved ones and professional caregivers, they also provide companionship and support to our patients when they need it most.
Our Hospice volunteers are comprised of a variety of people from our community - men and women, young and old - from all walks of life. No medical training or prior experience is necessary to volunteer. All that’s required is a spirit of compassion, the ability to listen and respect for all ways of life. Download the volunteer application and forms here, or call 812.933.5125.
A Team Approach
Providing care to someone who is dying can be difficult. That’s why we ensure you have the assistance you need to do your job well. Our volunteers receive comprehensive training and work closely with our Hospice team to discuss and address the needs of both our patients and their families.
At Margaret Mary, our Hospice department offers a variety of volunteering opportunities so you can find the role that best fits you. We offer roles that involve both direct and indirect patient care. Our volunteers:
- Provide support to patients by visiting, sitting or taking walks with them, as well as reading or writing letters to them.
- Run errands for patients and their families.
- Provide on-call support by responding to patients with immediate needs.
- Make phone calls from the Hospice office to assess each patient’s need for medication and supplies.
- Help ensure no patient dies alone by being present during the final stages of a patient’s life.
- Provide basic cosmetology services (cosmetology license required).
- Provide bereavement services to family members by making visits and phone calls or sending cards.
- Provide the Hospice office with clerical assistance.