GRIEF & LOSS

Experience our compassion for those in grief. Hospice of North Idaho provides a safe and supportive age appropriate environment to share experiences about the grief process. We believe that no one should have to grieve alone.

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PREPARATION & PLANNING

Considering caring for your loved one in your home? Hospice can help you prepare for caregiving and provide prescriptions and medical supplies.

In addition, we provide resources and legal documentation you can use to ensure your family is properly prepared.

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QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO ENROLL?
TALK TO AN EXPERT.

(208) 772-7994

“Such an amazing group of people with one of the hardest tasks on the planet.  I am truly grateful for hospice caregivers, in the face of all the sadness and uncertainty, there was laughter and comfort.”

Colleen R.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The answer is a resounding now. Now is the best time to learn more about hospice and ask questions about what to expect from hospice services. Along with this, now is also the best time to have conversations with loved ones about end-of-life planning and wishes. Although difficult to discuss, it is best for family members to share their wishes long before it becomes a concern. This can greatly reduce stress when the time for hospice is needed. By having these discussions in advance, patients are not forced into uncomfortable situations. Instead, patients can make an educated decision that includes the advice and input of family members and loved ones. For more information on end-of-life planning, click here, or visit www.theconversationproject.org.

Hospice is designed to provide care during the last six months of a life-limiting condition. While many wait too long and don’t seek hospice services until a crisis occurs or symptoms become very difficult to manage, hospice care has the greatest impact when it is implemented as early as possible. We understand that it is very difficult to let go of the hope for a cure, but more time on hospice services means more time to live fully and explore the emotional, spiritual and physical aspects of life. For more information about when it’s time for hospice, click here.

Hospice admission usually begins with a formal referral to Hospice of North Idaho from the patient’s primary care provider. Within 24 hours (though usually much sooner) an admission nurse will schedule a time to meet with the patient and family members. During this initial meeting, a social worker and nurse will conduct a needs assessment and determine the goals of the patient. Hospice care is ready to begin immediately following the visit, though it may depend on the urgency of the situation. Another option is to have a patient or family member call Hospice of North Idaho directly to determine hospice eligibility, and we will contact the necessary providers to get the information we need.

At Hospice of North Idaho, we don’t believe that giving up on a cure means giving up on life. In fact, the role of the interdisciplinary team assigned to the patient is to evaluate the needs and goals of the individual and examine the entire picture so that they can live as fully as possible. This focused effort actually improves quality of life and in some cases may extend life or even result in a patient being discharged from hospice care. Also, many patients choose to focus on healing relationships with friends or family or their spirituality or a renewed commitment to faith. This makes time on hospice incredibly special, and can result in a rich life full of healing and end-of-life development!

Hospice is family-centered care that has benefits for the patient and the family. With Hospice of North Idaho’s services, the patient can expect to not only receive expert care in pain and symptom management, but also have their emotional, spiritual, and practical needs attended to as well. Families also receive support, and work with one of our social workers to identify what areas they need support in. Our grief counselors will work with families to determine the needs of those left behind, whether it’s an aging widow or young child. Hospice of North Idaho provides a minimum of 13 months of bereavement care, and has a variety of support groups for adults and children. Since 1986, Hospice of North Idaho has been providing grief counseling and support groups to everyone in the community at no charge. Hospice of North Idaho also offers respite services for family members or caregivers who need a break or have travel plans. Hospice House, Idaho’s only inpatient hospice facility provides patients will a comfortable stay for five days for caregivers can get the respite they need.
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At Hospice of North Idaho, each patient has a hospice care team that is made of registered nurses, social workers, hospice aides, board certified physicians, and a spiritual chaplain. Together, this team, along with the patient and family, come up with a care plan with the needs and goals of the patient in mind. Patients also have access to hospice volunteers, pets from our pet therapy program, and other specialized volunteers, such as massage therapists. These individuals, if requested, provide additional support and companionship to hospice patients. The frequency of volunteer and spiritual care visits are often determined by the family’s requests and availability.

The admission criteria for hospice care state that patients need to have a life-limiting condition with a six month or less prognosis. At Hospice of North Idaho, less than 50% of our hospice patients have a cancer diagnosis. Heart disease, lung disease, dementia, CVA/strokes, neuromuscular disease, HIV/AIDS and debility are other examples of hospice diagnoses.

Hospice care is fully covered by Medicare and requires little, if any, out of pocket expenses. Many insurance companies also have a hospice benefit. For those who lack Medicare or private insurance, we never turn away any hospice appropriate patient. As the community’s non-profit hospice, we believe that everyone deserves to die with dignity; it is our mission to ensure that no one will ever be denied services, even if they lack the ability to pay.

Yes, all medication and medical equipment related to hospice care are covered when you enroll in hospice. Included in this are medications that treat the life-limiting illness, pain medications, hospital beds, walkers, and oxygen. As a non-profit hospice with a mission to serve everyone in need, Hospice of North Idaho will ensure that those who lack a pay source have the medications and equipment needed.

We are the experts in pain and symptom management. Our clinical staff receives specialized training in hospice and palliative care. Medical Directors, Dr. Robert Ancker, MD and Dr. Shana Fogarty, MD are family practice physicians who are Board Certified in Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine, which means they have achieved a high level of expertise in pain and symptom management. While not all patients experience pain or discomfort at the end of life, many will as their condition progresses. The hospice team works together to manage symptoms, keeping the goals of the patient in mind. The team frequently reviews the patient’s plan of care and makes changes as needed.