What does the Hospice team provide?
Hospice of Jefferson County provides a team of professionals to help families during the final months of a loved one's life. The Hospice team works with the patient, the family, and the patient's physician to put together a unique plan of care. The plan belongs to the patient and family, as do any changes along the way.
The Hospice team consists of Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Social Workers, Bereavement Counselors, and Volunteers. Visits are made to the patient's home as often as indicated by the plan of care, with phone support and emergency visits available twenty-four hours a day. Medications and medical supplies that are necessary to alleviate pain and discomfort associated with the terminal condition are supplied as part of the Hospice benefit.
The Hospice team is interdisciplinary, recognizing that a life-limiting illness has emotional and spiritual dimensions for both the patient and family. Bereavement counseling is made available to family members for up to a year after the death of a loved one.
Who is eligible for Hospice?
Hospice care should be considered for anyone who has been determined to have a life expectancy of six months or less. Under current Medicare regulations and most insurance plans, the decision to elect Hospice benefits requires that curative treatment not be pursued, so it is important that the patient and family understand all their options. (The Medicaid program now allows children to receive both Hospice and curative treatment, and pilot projects are underway to test permitting concurrent treatment for adults.)
How is a referral for Hospice made?
A referral can be made by the patient, a family member or the patient's physician, simply by calling the Hospice office (315-788-7323). The Hospice admissions coordinator will contact the family and schedule a home visit. A request for a home visit does not in any way obligate the patient to accept Hospice care; in fact, it is critical that the patient and family receive a full explanation of the Hospice benefit before making a decision.
Where are these services provided?
Hospice of Jefferson County is licensed by the New York State Department of Health to provide services in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties. Most patients are cared for in their own homes, but residents of adult homes, intermediate care facilities, and nursing homes are also eligible to receive care by our expert staff. For those who want an alternative to home care or institutional care (hospital or nursing home), our newly opened Residence is an excellent option.
The Hospice Residence is an 8 bedroom facility located at 1398 Gotham Street. In this home-like setting, each bedroom has a private bathroom and a patio that overlooks a beautiful pond. A large, communal living room with a fire place and a kitchen are available for all to share. Meals are prepared whenever desired and every attempt is made to meet food preferences and requests. Each bedroom has a comfortable sleeper sofa for family wishing to spend the night. In warmer weather, larger patios are available for enjoying the beautiful grounds.
Tours are always available by calling the main number: 315-788-7323.
What does Hospice Care Cost?
For most patients, there is no cost, not even a co-pay. Hospice coverage is a right for all who meet medical criteria under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and most other insurance plans provide some coverage. For those patients who elect care in the Residence, however, there is a Room and Board fee exempt for those with Medicaid coverage. Our Director of Finance will meet with you to review your insurance coverage. A sliding scale fee is available. No one is refused care due to the lack of insurance coverage or ability to pay.
The expertise that Hospice of Jefferson County has developed over the years in helping patients at the end of life with control of pain and management of symptoms is also available for persons coping with long-term illnesses. Palliative care is focused on helping those with chronic illness (such as cancer, COPD of CHF) achieve greater comfort, improved functioning and a better quality of life. It is a supplement to curative treatment, not a substitute. It may be provided any time during a person's illness.
Services are delivered by an interdisciplinary team of registered and licensed practical nurses, physicians and social workers. Each person's plan of care is unique, but typically it will involve relieving symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping.
While the value of palliative care in achieving better outcomes for patients is becoming increasingly recognized, unfortunately it is not yet included in the Medicare benefit package. Some health insurance plans do cover palliative care, and with a number of studies showing that it actually reduces over all medical costs, it is likely to become more widely covered. In the meantime, Hospice of Jefferson County will work with each patient on an affordable payment arrangement. For those without financial means, additional help is available through the generosity of George E. Woodruff, an early supporter and board member. Mr. Woodruff established an endowment fund solely for the purpose of assisting individuals in need of palliative care.
For more information about palliative care, contact the Hospice office at 315.788.7323.
Hospice Bereavement Services
Hospice of Jefferson County offers a wide range of bereavement services to assist families and friends in the time following the loss of a loved one. All groups are open to members of the community, as well as Hospice families.
Bereavement is a personal experience, which no two people find the same. We, at Hospice, are here to assist in whatever way is appropriate for the specific needs of persons experiencing a loss.
All bereavement services are offered free of charge. The Hospice Foundation, supported by the generosity of our community, makes this resource available to all who might benefit.
Please contact Joyce Combs, Bereavement Coordinator, at the Hospice office 315.788.7323 for information about these services.
Adult Support Groups
Bereavement Evening Support Group
Hospice offers a Bereavement Support and Education Group which meets the third Tuesday of every month at the Hospice office from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Guest speakers and Hospice social work staff are there to discuss grief, loss and readjustment.
Bereavement Day Support Group
A support group is held at Hospice on the first Tuesday of every month from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon.
Left Behind by Suicide
This support group for individuals grieving the death of a loved one by suicide meets the 2nd Thursday of the month from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Hospice office.
On the first Tuesday of every month, those who are experiencing the loss of a loved one get together to socialize and share experiences. A different restaurant is selected every month. Monthly postcards will announce dates, times and places.
Yearly Memorial Service
In late spring each year Hospice of Jefferson County holds a Memorial Service to remember loved ones lost in the past year. All family and friends are welcome to attend.
Children & Youth Support Groups
Over the Rainbow Children's Day Camp
This summer day camp for children ages 6-12 involves learning about and coping with grief while having fun with a group of peers. Activities include swimming, arts and crafts, play, and sports. Snacks and lunch are provided. The Camp is open to all children who have experienced a loss.
Children of all ages are invited to come together and create a holiday ornament in honor of their deceased love one.
Hospice bereavement counselors, social work staff and trained volunteers are available to make office or home visits to individuals who are experiencing difficulty with the death of a loved one. Individual counseling can be done alone, or in concert with group participation.
We understand that this may be a difficult time for you and your family, and Hospice of Jefferson County is here to help you. Our specially trained care team offers you personalized attention and support, and helps you and your family manage physically, emotionally and spiritually.
We offer a wide range of services to support and assist the family members of our patients. We don't just help you learn how to care for your loved one; we also offer emotional support, assistance with physical care, help with filling out paper work, counseling and grief/bereavement services.
In addition, we coordinate family meetings to discuss any changes in the patient's condition or the need for change in the care routine.
- We provide all illness-related medical equipment and prescriptions
- Our on-call nurse is available 24 hours a day
- We offer caregiver respite to enable you to get back to your regular routine or run errands
- Chaplin services are available
- Families can expect a better quality of life for their loved one, since many symptoms that might otherwise require a hospitalization can be successfully managed by the Hospice Team in the patient’s home.