Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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. Your Pikes Peak Hospice care team comes to you and supports your family or other caregivers in meeting your needs and wishes.
Should those needs change, Pikes Peak Hospice is the only area hospice provider with an inpatient care unit equipped to manage more serious care needs.
Many patients come to our inpatient care unit until they are stabilized, and then return home.
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 Pikes Peak 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 Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care 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 training and emotional support. In addition, Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative care provides 13 months of 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 Pikes Peak Hospice specialize in "palliation" — which is another way of saying pain and symptom management. Just as a cardiologist knows more about heart disease than a general practitioner, so too, is a palliative 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 palliative 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.
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 Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care at (719) 633-3400. We're available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 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.
How is Pikes Peak Hospice & Palliative Care different?
We are a not-for-profit hospice and palliative care provider, and have been operating in the Pikes Peak region since 1980. We are here for and because of this community. We are not charged with providing a profit to shareholders, have the full support of a foundation, and pride ourselves on providing a deeper, more personal level of care to our patients, and to handle even the most complex cases.
Research shows there are 10 key things people want for a loved one facing a serious, life-limiting illness. The care we provide directly corresponds with these concerns.
- Assurance that the patient's wishes are honored and respected.
- Choice among the types of treatments, care and services that are available.
- Pain and symptom control tailored to the patient's wishes.
- Emotional support for the patient and their loved ones.
- An opportunity for the patient to put his/her affairs and life in order.
- Spiritual support for the patient and family.
- The option to choose where the patient will be cared for, including being able to remain at home.
- A team of professionals to offer comprehensive care for the patient.
- Continuity of caregivers, no matter where a patient resides.
- Comfort, dignity and understanding are critical aspects of the services requested.
Source: National Hospice Foundation
"Once I found hospice, I no longer felt alone and they gave me the support and confidence to have my dear husband at home with me until the end."
--Patient family member