There is no set time for discharge from The Connecticut Hospice. If a patient remains stable, i.e., has no new symptoms and does not require changes in his/her daily care, then the health care team will begin to discuss with the patient and family where the patient may be served more appropriately. If a patient exhibits symptoms and continues to need intensive medical and nursing care, then he/she may remain at The Connecticut Hospice. Patients who remain stable are discharged either to home or to another facility. Most times, Hospice Home Care will continue to follow these patients at home or, if The Connecticut Hospice has a contract with the other facility, in that facility. At any point when the patient develops more symptoms, he/she may be readmitted to the hospice facility for symptom control or terminal care.
If a patient remains stable, then he/she may be discharged to home or another facility. Sometimes patients are eligible to remain at The Connecticut Hospice for care, but want to see their homes one more time. With support from their families, patients may be able to go home for a visit during the day.
The Connecticut Hospice has an inpatient hospital and provides home care services. In both settings, medical and nursing care, social work, arts therapy, spiritual care, physical therapy, Reikki massage, and volunteer visits are available. The nurse or other health care provider places a request with a service for the patient. Volunteers may assist a family with rides to the inpatient facility if needed.
There are no set visiting hours at The Connecticut Hospice. Friends and family are required to sign in at the front desk and may proceed to the second floor to visit their loved one. In the evening and overnight, family and visitors are asked to respect the peaceful and calm atmosphere so that patients may be able to sleep.
Anyone with a terminal illness (i.e., an illness that cannot be cured by medical intervention) is eligible for hospice care. For those people who desire control of symptoms, The Connecticut Hospice provides appropriate medical, nursing and alternative interventions to decrease symptoms and discomfort.
This program is called CAN SUPPORT and services are provided both at the inpatient facility and in home care. For those people whose illness is entering its final stages, The Connecticut Hospice provides comfort care to eliminate pain and suffering at the end of life. Often, patients report feeling much more comfortable and being able to actively participate in life until the very end.
For people who do have Medicare, the Medicare Hospice Benefit (part of Medicare A) pays 100% for hospice services. For those who have private insurance, hospice representatives contact the insurance company and set up a contract for care.
Pets are allowed at The Connecticut Hospice. Dogs and cats should be on leashes and not allowed to roam free. Other animals are also welcome. We do have volunteers who bring their pets in for patients to enjoy.
There is no age limitation for visitors. Children must be supervised and remain respectful of other patients’ rights. The arts department may be able to provide activities while children’s parents are visiting loved ones. This is best arranged in advance through the patient’s nurse.
All medications for medical conditions are continued once someone becomes a hospice patient. Changes in medications occur when the patient’s condition requires different medications, i.e., a patient has more pain or is unable to swallow pills. In both cases, different medications may be prescribed and other medications discontinued. Hospice clinicians consult with the patient and his/her family when medication changes need to be made.
The Connecticut Hospice employs physicians and nurse practitioners who provide palliative care to patients. Hospice clinicians do consult with patients’ community physicians to determine extent of illness, treatments and interventions already trialed, and any further appropriate treatment planned. The Hospice clinicians do have specialized training in control of symptoms and, therefore, are hospice patients’ primary providers at the inpatient facility. Home care patients are managed by their own physicians, but hospice clinicians are available to make home visits and suggest treatments and interventions.