Coastal Hospice

Frequently Asked Questions

Is hospice for cancer patients only?

No. Hospice is for anyone – young or old – who has an expected prognosis of six months or less to live. If you or someone you care for has been diagnosed with heart disease, Parkinsons, ALS, Alzheimers, kidney failure or cancer, or with any illness that is no longer responding to curative treatment, Coastal Hospice can help.

Does hospice mean giving up hope?

No. Hospice is about living and making the most of the time remaining. No one knows with certainty how much time anyone has. Hospice cares for you to provide the greatest comfort possible, to help with emotional and spiritual issues and to support your whole family.

Is hospice a place to go to die?

No. Most of the patients in Coastal Hospice care are in their homes. We come to you where you are living, including your nursing homes and assisted living room.

If a patient goes into hospice care, will the family lose their house and assets?

No. Hospice care is generally paid for by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance. However, every patient receives care, including those who have no way to pay. As a non-profit organization, Coastal Hospice puts your needs first.

Do patients need to be bedridden before hospice comes in?

No. The most common comment Coastal Hospice receives from families is, “I wish we had called hospice sooner.” Many patients of Coastal Hospice are still working or actively involved in their communities or with their families. In fact, for most patients, hospice care can help you live longer.

Do patients keep their own doctors after hospice is called in?

Yes. You’re encouraged to keep your own physicians. Coastal Hospice will consult with them on care. If you do not have a physician, one of our Coastal Hospice doctors is ready to care for you.

Can a patient who lives alone receive care?

Yes. Many of our patients live alone. The Coastal Hospice team will work with you to help you keep your independence. We’ll help you find support options. Soon, Coastal Hospice at the Ocean will be a new option for patients who don’t have an able caregiver at home.

Does Coastal Hospice help with medications, oxygen and other medical equipment?

Yes. Hospice will help arrange for your medications, oxygen, hospital beds, wheelchairs and other equipment or supplies. Most – if not all – of the cost is covered by insurance. Coastal
Hospice will make sure you have what you need.

What happens if a hospice patient gets better?

Hospice patients sometimes live longer, because their quality of life is better. They may improve to the point they no longer need hospice care. When this happens, the patient may be discharged from hospice. That’s what the Compass program of Coastal Hospice is for. The Compass Coordinator will step in to coordinate non-medical support services and volunteer care.

Does hospice talk to the patient about death and dying?

Sometimes. Coastal Hospice leaves this decision up to you, the patient. Hospice staff only talks about death and dying if the patient wants to talk about it. We respect your journey as your own.

How can family members take care of a very ill patient when they are not trained professionals?

Coastal Hospice staff spends time teaching caregivers how to handle the patient’s needs, give medications and recognize problems. Coastal Hospice is always on call and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions or make personal visits.

Do hospice patients need a Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR)?

No, but it is recommended. The hospice team can assist you prepare an advanced directive so your family and healthcare providers know exactly how you want them to care for you if you cannot speak for yourself.

Does Coastal Hospice offer grief support?

Yes. Coastal Hospice provides grief support groups in each of the counties we serve. Whether or not the deceased was a Coastal Hospice patient, those who mourn are welcome at Coastal Hospice grief support groups. Support groups meet regularly at convenient locations throughout the four Lower Shore counties. A schedule of meetings is posted here.