When is the right time to ask about hospice?

Now is the best time to learn more about hospice care and ask questions about what to expect. Although end-of-life care may be difficult to discuss, it is best for loved ones to share their wishes long before it becomes a concern. This can greatly reduce stress when the time for hospice becomes apparent. By having these discussions in advance, uncomfortable situations can be avoided. Instead, educated decisions can be made that include the advice and input of loved ones.

How do I begin the hospice process?

Anyone can inquire about hospice services. You or your loved one may call a local hospice and request services. The hospice staff will then contact your physician to determine if a referral to hospice is appropriate. Another way to inquire about hospice is to talk with your physician, and he or she can make a referral for hospice.

When do hospice services begin?

Usually, care is ready to begin within a day or two of a referral. However, in urgent situations, service may begin sooner. Hospice can begin as soon as the hospice nurse visits to make sure you meet hospice guidelines.

Is hospice available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

Hospice care is available ‘on call’ after the administrative office has closed, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Will I have my own hospice team and how often will they visit?

Every person receiving hospice has access to a registered nurse, social worker, hospice aide, and chaplain (also known as the interdisciplinary team) and volunteers. The hospice team will work with you and your family to create a plan of care that will outline the actions and goals for your hospice care.

Can I be cared for by hospice if I reside in a nursing facility or other type of long-term care facility?

A patient living in a nursing facility can receive specialized visits from hospice nurses, home health aides, chaplains, social workers, and volunteers, in addition to other care and services provided by the nursing facility. The hospice and the nursing facility will have a written agreement in place in order for hospice services to be delivered to patients that reside in the facility. The Medicare Hospice Benefit will cover the care related to your terminal illness, but it does not cover daily room and board charges for the facility. If you are eligible for Medicaid, Medicaid will cover room and board charges.

How do I begin with Astella Hospice?

Call Astella Hospice at 956-661-1177 and ask to speak to an “Intake Specialist” to assist you or your family member to begin the process. In addition, your physician, family member or case worker can call us to begin the process. You may also click here and complete an inquiry form and an Intake Specialist will be in contact with you as soon as possible.