Frequently Asked Questions

The concept of a holistic approach to end-of-life care services for families with a loved one who is suffering terminal illnesses and life-limiting conditions started decades ago. In fact, Medicare began covering hospice benefits in 1982, which continues to this day, providing free and easy hospice services to any patient who requires it.

Unfortunately, such benefits are underutilized because of misinformation and the circulating myths about hospice care.

So to help you and your loved ones understand hospice better, here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about hospice care and services. After all, compassionate support always begins with meaningful and productive conversations.

Hospice Care

Below is a brief explanation of hospice care and how it can benefit patients with terminal illnesses and their respective families. To discuss in detail how these services can benefit your family start by filling out our patient referral form or contact the Cardinal Hospice office closest to you:

  • Bay City Hospice at (989) 308-4673
  • Oxford Hospice at (248) 230-2058

Or keep reading to feel fully informed during this important time.

What is Hospice?


Hospice care refers to a specialized care option for people with life-limiting conditions, such as a terminal illness. 

Hospice focuses on caring and bringing comfort. The primary goal is to provide support and assistance to patients and their families by offering a wide range of holistic services that can add quality to their lives. Such services focus on improving the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of patients. Some examples include:

  • Basic medical services and equipment to help relieve pain and manage other symptoms (e.g. medicine administration).
  • Assistance with activities of daily living (e.g. eating, bathing) and instrumental activities of daily living (e.g. running errands).
  • Companionship, emotional support, and supervision if needed.
  • Physical, occupational, speech, and psychological therapy services.
  • Spiritual care from hospice chaplains or spiritual counselors.

Additionally, hospice care is not limited to the needs of the patient alone. It also provides comfort and emotional support to the family members, even after the patient’s passing. 

Who is eligible for hospice care?


Doctors recommend hospice care to individuals with a terminal illness who have a life expectancy of six months or less. Generally, physicians follow a particular set of guidelines to identify if a terminally ill patient qualifies for hospice care. Some of these are as follows:

  • The patient has a worsening health condition characterized by the following: frequent hospitalizations, a drastic drop in nutritional status, decreased physical ability, and mental cognition.
  • The patient’s body is not responding to the treatments being administered.
  • The patient has a PPS (palliative performance scale) of 50% to 70%.

Doctors may also recommend hospice care to patients with life-limiting conditions who want to forgo the continuation of treatments and focus on pain management and comfort instead.

Why should we choose Cardinal Hospice?


We at Cardinal Hospice care about you and the difficult challenges you face. More than anything, we believe that compassionate care is important to the quality of life of patients with terminal illness.

Therefore, we guarantee quality and compassionate care through our comprehensive range of hospice services. Our esteemed care team provides the best possible end-of-life care for patients with terminal illness or life-limiting conditions.

Where are you located?


With two locations, we serve Mid Michigan from our Tri City location conveniently located just off of I 75 and Southeast Michigan from our Oxford location.

Who decides whether I go on hospice care?


Patients, their loved ones, and primary healthcare providers can discuss thoroughly and decide whether or not to go on hospice care. Additionally, these people closely associated with the patient’s care may also refer a patient to hospice care services.

When is the right time to get hospice care?


Hospice care should be considered when a limited life prognosis is identified. A terminally ill patient and their loved ones should be afforded the time and attention necessary to deal with  the coming months, often a patient’s primary doctor will recommend it. 

It is essential to know that choosing hospice care should happen soon after a patient gets diagnosed with a terminal illness. These early on discussions will help the patient and their loved ones to fully understand hospice and its overall benefits and allow care to be established quickly.

Where does hospice take place?


Hospice services can be provided in various places based on the patient’s medical needs and situation. It can occur in the patient’s home, senior living facility, nursing home, or a hospice facility.

Who provides hospice care?


Hospice care agencies employ a team of skilled care aides and healthcare professionals to provide hospice services. Your loved one’s care team will consist of the following:

  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Home health aides
  • Spiritual counselors
  • Pharmacists
  • Social Workers
  • Volunteers
  • Bereavement Counselors
  • Other professionals

These trained individuals can provide 24/7 care and support to your loved one wherever and whenever needed. They may offer hospice services and visitation schedules based on the program your loved one is in.

Can I receive hospice care at home?


Yes. In fact, most hospice care is provided at the patient’s home, where they can feel more comfortable and at ease.

Is hospice care covered by Medicare or insurance?


Yes. Patients who require hospice care can get financial relief and assistance from Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, VA benefits, and Medicaid. Private insurance companies also cover hospice services depending on the client’s specific policy.

Medicare does provide coverage for almost all hospice care services. However, you may have a copay for specific prescription drugs needed and the cost of hospice care provided in a facility, such as private room expenses.

Is help available at night or after hours?


Physical, medical, mental, emotional and spiritual care is available 24/7 on scheduled and an on-call basis.

Will my doctor still be involved in my care?


Yes. Your loved one’s primary doctor and other healthcare providers directly associated with their care can still be involved in their hospice program and plan of care. Your loved one’s care team will coordinate with these professionals to ensure that the patient’s needs are taken care of.

How long does hospice take care of a patient?


Hospice takes care of a patient’s overall health and well-being for as long as needed, until their passing or until their condition improves. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, a patient may also get discharged from hospice care for the following reasons:

  • The patient is no longer terminally ill based on their doctor’s current health assessment (e.g. their condition improves and stabilizes).
  • The patients want to end their hospice care for specific reasons (e.g. they want to resume treatment).

What types of hospice care do you provide?


At Cardinal Hospice, we provide personalized levels of hospice care that is patient centered and designed to serve the unique  needs of our patients and their families. This may include:

  • Routine home care 
  • General inpatient care service
  • Continuous home care
  • Respite care
  • Palliative care services

How do you provide hospice care?


Cardinal Hospice provides hospice care depending on the medical needs, condition, and situation of the patient. 

For example, routine home care is usually provided in the patient’s home or living facility. Our care team will determine the number of visits the patient requires from our hospice staff members. We are available daily, overnight, or on an “as-needed” basis.

When the patient’s condition requires higher levels of care and they are transferred to a hospital, hospice unit, or long-term care facility, our care team will be there to provide around-the-clock supervision and support.

What services do you provide to the patient’s family and loved ones?


Along with ensuring our patient’s quality of life is the best that can be provided, we also consider the overall welfare of their loved ones by offering various services. This may include:

  • Caregiving assistance and respite care services to the family and caregivers
  • Emotional and psychological support from counselors
  • Spiritual support 
  • Bereavement care and services

How can we start hospice care with Cardinal Hospice?


To begin receiving services from Cardinal Hospice, you simply need to ask. A referral can come from anyone and our caring staff will guide you through the process. 

We will send our care representative to visit your loved one to complete a full  assessment. Working with the medical team and family, we will develop an individualized plan of care that meets the needs and preferences of the patient. Once scheduling and programs are identified, hospice care can begin. Often, care can start as soon as 48 hours after the formal referral is made.

You can fill out our patient referral form or contact the Cardinal Hospice office closest to you:

  • Bay City Hospice at (989) 308-4673
  • Oxford Hospice at (248) 230-2058

Cardinal Hospice

Considering hospice care for a loved one is difficult and important equally so selecting the right hospice provider. If you think your loved one will benefit from hospice care or you have been referred by a medical provider, we are confident that we can help your family find comfort and peace as we take care of life’s necessities so that you can focus on what is most important.

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