Toll Free: 800-838-9800

Frequently Asked Questions

Are hospice services only for people who are dying?
Hospice is for people living with a life-limiting illness, whose time is measured in months, rather than years. Delaware Hospice provides comfort, support and resources to ensure an individual, and their family, enjoys the best quality of life possible in the time they have remaining. We also have a program called Transitions for people who need help living with a serious illness.
Who is eligible for hospice care?
A patient with a very serious medical condition who is no longer receiving aggressive care to cure the disease.
Does asking for hospice services mean we're 'giving up'?
Not at all! Delaware Hospice is all about improving the quality of life. Many hospice patients have moved from finding a cure to asking for care and comfort, meaning they can focus on enjoying the time they have left, creating memories and resolving unfinished business.
When is the best time to start hospice care?
Once an individual is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, such as heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, liver and lung disease, and kidney failure, it is never too early to investigate Delaware Hospice services. Many families wish they had contacted us sooner. We can establish a relationship early in the process before a person is admitted to hospice; our Transitions program offers support, resources and education in the months or the year prior. Typically, when an individual’s prognosis is measured in months, we suggest contacting Delaware Hospice.
Should we wait for the doctor to suggest hospice?
One of the most common reasons people connect with hospice care late in the process is because people are hesitant to initiate the conversation. If you and your doctor agree that a loved one’s time is measured in months, now is the time to discuss hospice services. When you contact us, we take time to answer questions and schedule a personal visit to determine your needs.
Who pays for hospice care?
No one is ever denied care at Delaware Hospice; and the services we provide are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. As the state’s only not-for-profit hospice provider, we depend on contributions from individuals, families, corporations and community organizations whose generosity ensures we continue to respond to the needs of our community, making services available to anyone in need.
What kind of concerns to people coping with a serious illness have?
Many seriously ill patients worry more about their loved ones than themselves. They worry about leaving family members behind, paying for medical care, and who will care for their needs as their limitations increase. Most worry about pain relief, and they contemplate their fears about the end of their life. The care teams at Delaware Hospice work every day to ensure people with life-limiting illnesses feel supported during this significant time. We listen to concerns, answer questions, find solutions, provide pain and symptom relief, and create an environment in which a loved one achieves the highest level of quality of life.
Are there instances where family members do not want their loved ones to know they are using hospice care?
Many times, family members want to protect loved ones from hearing difficult news. We follow the wishes of the family members with whom we partner, but we also provide education. People who are seriously ill often feel more secure, respected and affirmed when they understand their prognosis. Our caring staff members and volunteers can assist you with talking about a life-limiting illness to a loved one.
When patients are diagnosed with a serious illness, how does the news affect a family?
Family members identify with a range of emotions, including fear, anger, denial, depression and sorrow, which is why Delaware Hospice embraces a holistic approach. We care for the entire family’s needs, as well as the patient’s.
How does Delaware Hospice help families to cope?
Each patient and family partners with an entire Delaware Hospice care team, including a doctor, nurse, certified nursing assistant, counselor, chaplain and volunteer. The team collaborates with the family, providing coping strategies and solutions accordingly. The process is an ongoing one, requiring constant communication to respond to changing needs.
What if I choose hospice care and then live for more than six months?
The care we provide at Delaware Hospice does not automatically end after six months. Medicare and most other insurances will continue to pay for hospice care as long as the physician certifies that the patient continues to have a life-limiting illness.
What if my condition improves?
Occasionally, the quality of care provided by Delaware Hospice leads to improved health. We may discharge the patient from our care, but if they become eligible for hospice care at a later time, the patient can re-elect the hospice benefit. We also offer a program called Transitions, which helps patients with support and resources in the year or months preceding hospice admission.
How do I refer someone to Delaware Hospice?
We gladly accept referrals made by anyone, including the patient, a family member, friend, or healthcare provider. Contact us at 800-838-9800 for further information, or Contact Us.