Frequently Asked Questions


Who is Eligible for Hospice Care?

Catskill Area Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc., seeks to help all people facing end-stage illness, including those in long-term care facilities. People are usually admitted to the program during their final six months of illness, or when a curative therapy is not possible, or when they choose not to accept or continue curative treatment. The program accepts people with all end-stage diseases, including cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and other life limiting neurological illnesses, AIDS and diabetes.

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Is Catskill Area Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc. affiliated with any religious organization?

Catskill Area Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc. is not affiliated with any specific religious organization. Catskill Area Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc. serves a broad community and does not promote any particular set of beliefs

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Is hospice care covered by insurance?

Catskill Area Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc. will assist families in finding out whether coverage is available. Coverage is provided by Medicare and by most private health insurance policies. Medicare covers all services and supplies related to the terminal illness for the hospice patient. Catskill Area Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc. will provide for anyone who cannot pay using money raised from the community or from memorial or foundation gifts.

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Does hospice provide any support to the family after the patient dies?

Hospice provides continuing contact and support for family and friends for at least a year following the death of a loved one. Catskill Area Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc. also provides specialized bereavement programs and is recognized as the major community resource for bereavement services.

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What are the qualifications of hospice staff to meet the variety of needs of patients and their families?

All team members meet appropriate degree and/or licensure standards of the state and of federal program requirements for Medicare. In addition, hospice staff members are experienced in caring for dying people and their families, are familiar with working with people in their own personal residences, and more than anything, are caring and understanding people.

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How can hospice help with specific diseases and decision-making?

Often hospice staff can help patients and families answer questions about end-of-life care planning and decision-making. Families caring for a family member with Alzheimer's Disease often need help with determining when a patient should or could be admitted to hospice care. Families in this situation are often very tired, and they want to be sure they are asking the right questions and have access to comprehensive information. Patients with end-stage renal disease often desire counseling about options related to stopping dialysis, and the "next steps" to take after that decision might be made.

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Are all hospice programs the same?

The majority of hospice programs across the nation provide very similar core services, and if they are certified by Medicare, you can be assured that these core services are all provided. Many programs, however, provide additional services that are reflective of the needs of the community, the size of the hospice program, the community resources that are available, or the partnerships that have been created with other organizations in the community to support the needs of the dying and their families.

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How might one "advance plan" for hospice care?

Learning about hospice care is the most effective way to advance plan for when hospice care may be needed by an individual or family member. The more you know about the hospice in your community, the better equipped you are to make appropriate decisions for end-of-life care for yourself and family members. A terminal diagnosis, or the advancement to a terminal stage of a chronic illness often creates an environment surrounded in turmoil. Having advance information about hospice care will assist in effective decision making during this time. While learning about hospice care in your community, you may also find ways to become involved in supporting care for others with a terminal illness and their families even though you don't have a direct need for services at a specific time.

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How long is hospice care usually needed?

It depends on many factors. Some patients only receive hospice care for a few days, as they are admitted when their disease has progressed to a point where they are actively dying, and thus, may not receive the full benefit of care that is available to the patient and the family. Others receive hospice care for a number of months prior to death. Often patients will have a period where they do better after being admitted to a hospice program, with a focus on palliation rather than curative therapies. Patients also vary in the amount of time they are in stages of active dying, with some only a few hours and others several days.

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