Hospice and Palliative Care at Middlesex Hospital
Our Hospice & Palliative Program is committed to caring for patients and families who face serious or life-limiting illnesses, helping them manage pain and symptoms, while focusing on emotional and spiritual comfort and supporting them in making important decisions and enhancing their quality of life.
Hospice and Palliative Care services at Middlesex Hospital include:
- Management of symptoms and medications
- Help with nutritional needs
- Emotional support
- Coordination of care
- Personal care
- Education on illness-related issues
- Assistance with resource planning
- Caregiver assistance
- Spiritual counseling
- Holistic services (such as art, music, Reiki)
- Bereavement counseling
Because most hospice and palliative care patients prefer to be treated in their own homes, our Hospice program is primarily home-based—but we also use skilled nursing facilities and assisted living residencies as necessary. Sometimes, as the patient’s needs change, we may need to refer them to their doctor or hospital, but it’s important to know that, if desired, patients who are treated in Hospice can return to their home once symptoms are managed.
We use a team approach to care, including a nurse who provides special education and communication to patients, their families and the skilled nursing facility staff—along with board-certified doctors, registered nurses, social workers, home health aides, specially trained volunteers.
Hospice recognizes death as the final stage of life and tries to help patients continue an alert, pain-free life, so their last days may be spent with dignity, surrounded by their loved ones. Hospice care is appropriate when the focus of your medical treatment is no longer finding a cure, but improving quality of life. However, entering hospice care doesn’t mean you’re giving up hope. You, your family and your doctor decide if and when hospice services should begin, then if your condition improves—or the disease goes into remission—you can easily leave the hospice program and return to active medical or cancer treatment.
Palliative Care Program
Palliative care focuses on managing the pain, symptoms and stress of a serious illness—helping you, your loved ones and your doctors better understand your feelings, needs and treatment goals. Its goal is to improve your quality of life, not just in your body but also in your mind and spirit. Care may begin at the time of diagnosis and continue throughout the course of the illness, but it’s important to remember that receiving palliative care doesn’t mean you’re giving up. In fact, most patients who receive palliative care continue to pursue aggressive medical treatments for their illnesses.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are hospice and palliative care services paid for?
Our fees are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance or direct payment—and, in case of financial need, we’ll make every effort to adjust payments depending on the services needed and any outside resources available.
Can I stay at home while receiving hospice or palliative care?
Absolutely. In fact, most hospice and palliative care patients prefer to receive treatment at home. You also have the option to come to the hospital to receive care and then return home after treatment.
If I’m receiving care at home, how do I know when the nurses or home aides will be coming?
We’ll give you a calendar that will tell you exactly who is coming and when—and the nurses and home aides will help make sure the calendar is always kept up-to-date.
Will I have to stop seeing my regular doctors?
Definitely not. You can continue seeing them and receiving treatment from them as needed.
For more information about the Middlesex Hospital Hospice and Palliative Care Program, please call 860-358-5700.