Hospice is a comprehensive healthcare program for persons with advanced illnesses and their families. It is a life-enhancing support system intended to promote quality of life for individuals with advanced illnesses so they might live as fully and as comfortably as possible.

Hospice care also ensures that a patient's caregivers and loved ones receive the instruction and support they need. Hospice addresses the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and his or her family.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the philosophy of hospice care?

The philosophy of hospice is to affirm life by enhancing quality of life. It is based on offering comprehensive, comfort-oriented services and compassionate care so patients can maximize control over their lives and live with dignity and hope during the time of terminal illness and loss. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death; it treats death as a natural part of life.

Where are hospice services provided?

Hospice is provided where the terminally ill person is cared for, usually in the patient's home. Hospice care may also be provided within a nursing home or assisted living facility.

At Mount Nittany Medical Center, we have one bed available for patients in need of hospice care at the hospital.

What services are provided as part of hospice care?

Some of the specific hospice support areas are: nursing, social work and counseling, chaplaincy, home health assistance, volunteer visitation, dietary counseling, physical therapy, physician services and bereavement services.

When is the right time to contact hospice?

When you or a loved one face the challenge of a serious illness, it is time to find out about hospice so you can make informed decisions regarding your future options. Having all the appropriate information about hospice will help you and your family understand the role hospice could play if your disease continues to advance. Almost all hospice families indicate they wish they had learned more about hospice care options sooner.

How should I choose a hospice provider?

Mount Nittany Health's Case Management Department can help you research local hospice options, but cannot pick an agency for you. Your case manager will coordinate getting the prescribed care with the hospice agency of your choice.

You can contact the Case Management Department at 814.234.6153.

Find out more about the Case Management Department

What is skilled nursing care?

Skilled nursing care involves specially trained or licensed medical personnel providing necessary patient care. Examples of skilled care include physical therapy, occupational therapy, stage three or higher wound care management, complex nursing care, close monitoring and management of new medications, and education related to a new disease.

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