What is Hospice?
Hospice is a program that offers a special way of caring for people with a life-limiting illness and their families. Under Hospice, patient care needs are shifted from curative to comfort--focusing on the quality of life. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death--hospice affirms life and recognizes dying as a normal process. Through our compassionate hospice care team, we strive to meet all of our patient's needs--physical, emotional, social and spiritual--as well as the needs of the patient's family and loved ones.
Once our agency receives the hospice referral and the physician orders to admit to hospice we contact you to set up the admission visit. We will try to involve the family members in the initial admission visit so that we can explain to the patient and their family about our hospice program. We visit you where you reside and we discuss our program with you. We ask you to sign admission forms including an election to hospice form. Our RN also completes a physical assessment of the hospice patient. We work with you to begin setting up a care plan for your hospice care. Within five days of your admission to hospice, the hospice patient will also receive an assessment visit from our chaplain and our social worker (if the patient agrees with these visits).
Ongoing Visits and Care
Pain and symptom management
Calumet County Hospice helps patients achieve physical and emotional comfort so that they can concentrate on living as normally and meaningful as possible. Our hospice care nurses use the latest and most effective medications and equipment to treat pain and relieve symptoms.
Skilled nursing assessment
Our Registered Nurses make regular visits to the patient to assess patient care needs and symptom control. The frequency of visits is based on patient needs and can change based on the course of the patient's illness.
Assistance with activities of daily living
Hospice Aides provide personal care visits based on the plan of care set up between the patient, the patient's family, and the hospice team.
Emotional and spiritual support
Visits and support are offered to patients from our hospice social worker and chaplain based on patient needs and requests.
Our Hospice Medical Director assists the hospice care team to develop an effective plan of care to meet patient needs, provides consultation to hospice staff and physicians regarding hospice care, and certifies terminal prognosis. Our Hospice Medical Director will also make face to face visits at a patient's home when needed.
The patient's attending physician provides the initial certification for hospice for the patient. The physician also prescribes treatment and medical orders for the hospice patient.
Patient and Family
Our hospice patients and their family members are an integral part of our hospice team. Often a family member or friend of the hospice patient serves as a patient's primary caregiver.
The Hospice Coordinator serves as the hospice program manager.
Our hospice nurses have specialized training in pain and symptom management. The Registered Nurse assesses and addresses patient and family needs to coordinate the plan of care with other team members and provides patient care teaching. Our RNs are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The hospice aide provides personal care assistance which may include bathing, dressing, eating, and grooming.
Hospice Social Worker
Our hospice Social Worker will assist you and your family with emotional and financial needs. The social worker will help you and your family find and access community resources as needed and assist you with the end of life planning.
Hospice chaplains counsel patients and their families with regard to spiritual concerns. Many patients who take advantage of the spiritual services provided through hospice find that the chaplain helps them gain a better perspective, alleviating some of their depression and stress. Hospice chaplains don't take the place of the patient's minister or pastor of their church. The patient can choose to seek guidance from their own spiritual counselor, the hospice chaplain, or both. The chaplain will work alongside any church leader to ensure the patient receives all the support they need.
Hospice volunteers are trained individuals that can provide companionship and support for a hospice patient and their family. The volunteers can assist with such activities as playing cards, creating scrapbooks or recordings of your memories, running errands, or reading with the patient.
Discharge from Hospice
If a patient's condition improves and their disease goes into remission, the patient can be discharged from the hospice program. Also, there may be situations where a patient chooses to discontinue hospice services to begin active treatment. Our hospice team will work with the patient and their family members to transition off of the hospice program.
If a patient is discharged from the hospice program this does not mean that the patient cannot be admitted to the hospice program in the future. Hospice services can be resumed in the future as long as the patient meets the admission criteria.
Grief Support/Bereavement Follow-up
Individual follow up after patient death
As a part of our bereavement process, one of our hospice team members will make individual contacts with the hospice patient's family members for up to 13 months after the patient dies to provide bereavement support.
Hospice Memorial Ceremony
Our hospice program offers a Hospice Memorial Ceremony annually in September for all hospice patient family and friends. The patient's main family contacts will receive an invitation to this ceremony.
Grief support groups
Grief support groups are available throughout the community. To access the schedule, visit the Weiting Family Funeral Home website.
Where Can Hospice Services Be Provided?
In a patient or family member's home
The majority of our hospice patients live in their own home or a family member's home. Our hospice team provides the care and services needed for you to be comfortable in your own home
Assisted Living Facility
Some hospice patients are not able to be cared for safely in their own home and they may reside in an assisted living facility. Our hospice team works closely with our contracted assisted living facilities to provide the care that our hospice patients need in a coordinated manner. We offer all aspects of our hospice team to patients at assisted living facilities, including hospice aides to help with additional personal care needs. Calumet County Hospice Registered Nurses (RN) also provide education to our contracted facilities on hospice care.
Long Term Care Facility/Nursing Home
Some hospice patients are not able to be cared for safely in their own home and they may reside in a nursing home. Our hospice team can admit a patient to hospice when they reside at a nursing home as long as the patient meets the criteria for hospice. We are contracted with all of the skilled nursing facilities in Calumet County. Our hospice team works closely with the nursing facilities to coordinate services for our hospice patients. If you have a loved one that resides in a nursing home and you have questions about hospice services, please contact our agency at 920-849-1432.
Eligibility for Hospice
Calumet County Hospice provides care to terminally ill patients when curative therapy is no longer effective or desired.
In order to qualify for hospice, the following should be met:
- The patient or the patient representative chooses to elect hospice care
- The patient's eligibility is certified by a physician
- The patient is a resident of the Calumet County Hospice service area
- There is a life expectancy for the patient of six months or less if the terminal illness or disease runs its normal course. Note: Not all terminal illnesses have a predictable course. Therefore, hospice services may be available for extended periods of time beyond six months. The hospice team along with the patient's doctor will continue to review the patient's status. If the patient continues to meet coverage criteria for hospice, the care and services will continue.
Common Hospice Diagnoses
Patients eligible for hospice often are diagnosed with:
- ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)
- Alzheimer's Disease or Dementia
- Heart Disease
- Kidney (Renal) Disease
- Liver Disease
- Lung Disease (COPD, Emphysema, etc.)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson's Disease
- Stroke (CVA)
In addition, we provide hospice services to many patients whose health is rapidly declining (failure to thrive), even if they don't have a specific disease diagnosis. The critical factor is a prognosis of six months or less.
Payment for Hospice
Hospice care is covered by Medicare Part A. It is also covered by Wisconsin Medical Assistance as well as some other private insurance companies.
Hospice Medicare Benefit
The Hospice Medicare Benefit covers the following:
- Medications for pain and symptom management related to the hospice diagnosis
- Medical equipment and supplies (such as a hospital bed, wheelchairs, commodes, catheters, etc.)
- Physician Services
- Nursing care
- Hospice aide
- Social worker
- Physical, occupational and speech therapy
- Dietary, spiritual, and grief counseling
- Short term general inpatient care and respite care
Some private insurance companies have a per diem benefit available similar to the Hospice Medicare Benefit. Please contact our hospice agency so we can check on this for you.
Our agency relies on donated money to help pay for care and equipment not covered by insurance. Tax-deductible memorials and donations received are used for the Calumet County Hospice patients. Memorial contributions enable Hospice to extend comfort, care, and support to other patients and their families.
Why Choose Calumet County Hospice?
The selection of a hospice agency is an important decision…and it is your personal choice to make. You can ask for Calumet County Hospice by name. Federal law gives patients the freedom to choose their health care provider under Medicare. We hope you will consider Calumet County Hospice for your hospice needs.
Local People Caring for Local People
As a local hospice agency we deliver consistent caregivers week in and week out so that patients and their families feel comfortable, safe, and secure at home. Our care providers all live in our area and understand the unique care needs and resources available here in our community.
Arranging for Hospice Services
Anyone can make a referral for hospice services. You may want to talk to your doctor or someone who has had experience with a family member under hospice in the past. You can contact us at 920-849-1432 during our working hours to ask about hospice or to make a referral. Once we receive a referral, we will confer with your physician to obtain a certification for hospice. If you would like a representative from our agency to speak to your family about hospice, we can also arrange this with you.
Patients of our agency can access a Registered Nurse via telephone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.