Questions On Your Mind

Isn't accepting hospice the same as giving up hope?

No, it is a decision about how to live. Too many resist the idea of hospice care until the very end — only to lose weeks of their lives to pain and uncertainty.  Hospice is a choice for relief from pain, comfort for daily living, and control over how to live precious days.

Hospice care doesn’t hasten or postpone dying. Just like an obstetrician provides specialized medical expertise and support when we enter the world, hospice provides expertise and support during the last phase of life.

Ask an Expert

When is the right time to consider getting palliative and/or hospice care?

Anyone facing a potentially life-limiting illness should be aware of all the care options, including palliative and hospice care. Palliative care can often be provided at the same time as curative treatments. Knowing when to consider hospice care is important for planning.

Do I have to check into a hospice facility for care?

No.  Most of our patients stay where they are — at home or in another care facility. The Hummingbird Hospice care team comes to you and supports your family or other caregivers in meeting your needs and wishes.

Who will take care of me?

You’ll have an entire team dedicated to your care — doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, certified nursing assistants, counselors, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists, and volunteers.
Your Hummingbird Hospice care team will guide you and your family in developing a plan of care for your unique needs.

What’s involved with caring for a loved one receiving hospice care at home?

It varies from patient to patient, but we work with you to develop a personal care plan built around the patient’s needs. Every patient of Hummingbird Hospice has a team of experts assigned to his or her care. Care teams are made up of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and certified nursing assistants, counselors, chaplains and trained volunteers.

Caregivers are taught to provide for patient needs. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to provide the support you need.

What kind of support is offered to patient families?

Hospice includes help for caregivers in the form of educational training and emotional support. In addition, Hummingbird Hospice offers bereavement support following the death of a family member.

Can you make me comfortable?

Yes. That is our unique expertise and focus. The doctors and care teams at Hummingbird Hospice specialize in pain and symptom management. Just as a cardiologist knows more about heart disease than a general practitioner, so too, is a hospice care physician specially trained in pain relief.

Our teams are trained to manage complex symptoms of any disease. Your comfort is our immediate and ongoing goal. Medications and other therapies are adjusted with continual evaluation:  as your needs change, so does your plan of care.

Will hospice medicine leave my loved one incoherent or unable to talk?

We work to find the right balance for every patient, relieving pain without sacrificing alertness. This requires constant consulting with the patient and family, and sometimes regular adjustments to medication or other treatments.

Do I need a referral for hospice care?

Patients are admitted to Hummingbird Hospice with a physician referral. We can help get this authorization if needed.

Is the decision to seek hospice care permanent?

No. If a patient’s condition improves or if the patient and family so choose they can be discharged from hospice care. If the discharged patient should later need to return to hospice care, they can resume services.

How will I pay for hospice?

Medicare and Medicaid both provide coverage for basic hospice services, and most private insurance policies have some hospice provision. Families should check with their health insurance provider specifically.

Where can I get more information about hospice care?

You can always contact Hummingbird Hospice at 210-908-97740. We also encourage you to consult our resource page.

Is all hospice care the same?

No. Training, expertise, standards, level of personal attention, and availability of volunteers and complementary therapies can all vary widely. When you’re considering hospice care, ask lots of questions and make sure you understand all your options, as well as the experience and reputation of the hospice providers available.