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Forbes Hospice


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Q: What is hospice care?
A: Hospice care is a compassionate way to care for patients with a life-limiting illness. The focus is on comfort, pain and symptom relief, emotional and spiritual support to the patient and those who love them.

Q: Where can I get the care of Forbes Hospice?
A: Forbes Hospice cares for people in Allegheny and Beaver counties, as well as parts of Butler, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Whether in your own home, a nursing or assisted living facility, or our own inpatient unit, Forbes Hospice can care for you.

Q: Does a patient have to be close to death to be referred to Forbes Hospice?
A: No. Forbes Hospice encourages early referral to our program so that the patients and families can get to know and trust us. That way, our interventions can better enhance the quality of life and support for everyone involved.

Q: How do you know it is time for hospice care?
A: Often, the physician brings up the option for hospice care but sometimes it is not a topic discussed. Many times, families ask what the future holds for their loved one and this can start the conversation. It is often the “elephant in the room” that people are reluctant to talk about for various reasons – belief that it will remove hope, mistaken beliefs in wanting treatment and uncertainty over prognosis, etc. An increase in pain or other symptoms, repeated admissions to the hospital or trips to the ER, failure to rebound from illnesses, weight loss and decrease in functioning can all point to one being appropriate for hospice care. If you see these things then ask the difficult questions.

Q: Do patients have to be diagnosed with cancer?
A: No. Forbes Hospice serves patients of all ages with any life-limiting disease. Other illnesses that can benefit from hospice care are heart disease, chronic lung disease, Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, kidney failure, liver disease, neurological disease, AIDS and any other life-limiting illness.

Q: Will I have to give up my family physician?
A: No. Patients of Forbes Hospice continue to be served by their own physician. Our team works with each physician, and serves as the eyes and ears of the physician in the home.

Q: How long can a patient receive hospice care?
A: Indefinitely, or as long as the patient's condition remains appropriate for hospice care. Should a patient stabilize and improve, they can be discharged from hospice and can be readmitted at a later date.

Q: Can patients be admitted directly from the hospital?
A: Yes. Our admissions coordinators work with the physicians and discharge planners in each area hospital. We coordinate discharge and order any needed equipment. Upon discharge, our admissions nurses will see patients in their homes. In some cases, we can admit patients to the Forbes Hospice program while the patient is still in the hospital.

Q: Will hospice hasten my death?
A: Hospice does nothing to either prolong or hasten death. Forbes Hospice's plan of care focuses on comfort rather than cure, meaning, we address all issues of keeping people comfortable, from pain, from annoying symptoms, from frantic calls to 911 and sometimes scary hospitalizations. We respect each individual's wishes to remain at home with their loved ones, in peace and comfort.

Q: Isn't hospice for those people who are bedridden and very ill?
A: Many hospice patients are able to enjoy life much as they did before. Often, patients delay referrals to hospice until they are too overwhelmed and exhausted to enjoy life. Hospice's goal is to keep patients comfortable so that they can visit with family and continue many of their previous activities. Forbes Hospice provides needed support and guidance to families struggling with end of life decisions, saying goodbye and getting their affairs in order.

Q: Who pays for hospice care?
A: Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial insurances have a hospice benefit. The criteria is that patients have a life-limiting disease and a life expectancy of six months or less to be eligible to receive a full range of medical and support services.

Q: I’ve been told it is too early, is there any other help?
A: You may very well be on the right track for care. For people still pursuing treatment, symptoms like pain, shortness of breath or nausea can affect quality of life. Palliative home care through Forbes Hospice may be an option. We have expertise in managing symptoms utilizing an integrated team approach. Insurance guidelines to receive home care must be met. Our staff will be happy to assist you with direction that best serves your needs. You can always call one of our admissions nurses who can talk with you about any aspects of hospice or palliative care.

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