Why St. Joseph Healthcare

At St. Joseph Healthcare. we offer compassionate, patient-centered care to people of all ages and at every point in life, including those who need care, comfort and support as they face a terminal illness or condition. We recognize that a terminal diagnosis impacts both the person living with the diagnosis and those who love and support them. That’s why our caring team supports the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of each patient under our care, and the family member(s)/caregiver(s) who are on the journey with them.

Patients and families often tell us they wish they had known about hospice sooner. It is never too early to educate yourself about hospice or ask for a hospice evaluation. Contact us for more information or to learn how hospice care can help you and your family.

Hospice care is designed to meet the unique needs of individuals who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and have chosen to either stop treatment or have no viable options for curative treatment. Hospice care is not designed to heal or cure a health condition. It is intended to relieve pain and symptoms while attending to an individual’s physical, personal, emotional and spiritual needs. Hospice care helps individuals who are facing death make the most of each and every moment possible — supporting quality of life as life draws to a close. When pain and symptoms are relieved, the anxiety and stress that may accompany a terminal illness are lessened, too.

In addition to expert pain and symptom management, our hospice team is empathetic, compassionate and highly skilled at addressing our patients’ unique needs and circumstances, including providing support for the loved ones and caregivers who find themselves on the journey with a friend or loved one.

For caregivers, the stress of caring for someone with a serious illness is reduced by having a team of compassionate professionals available. We work closely with family members and loved ones to educate and empower them as caregivers. Our team provides much-needed support not only for our patients, but also for their loved ones, after death, through grief support.

Our hospice care team is dedicated to helping you live life as fully as possible wherever you reside, with comfort, meaning, respect and dignity. It is important to know that hospice does not provide 24-hour care.

Hospice care includes:

  • Pain and symptom management
  • Help with bathing, dressing and/or eating
  • Emotional and spiritual support
  • Medications, equipment and supplies
  • Caregiver support, education and guidance from your hospice team
  • Grief support

Our caring and dedicated hospice team includes:

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Spiritual Advisors
  • Medical Director
  • Physical, Speech and Occupational Therapists
  • Specially Trained Volunteers

There are many reasons and many ways hospice care benefits individuals, families and caregivers, including;

  • Hospice treats you, not the disease. The focus is on comfort and care, not curing. You and your family’s medical, social, emotional and spiritual needs are addressed by a team of hospice professionals and volunteers.
  • Hospice considers your entire family, not just you, as the “unit of care.” You and your family are included in the decision-making process. Hospice will help you and your family make choices about end-of-life issues and enable you to have greater control over these choices.
  • Hospice offers palliative (comfort care), rather than curative treatment. Hospice will provide care and comfort when cure is no longer an option. Through ever-advancing technology, pain and symptom control will enable you to live as fully and comfortably as possible.
  • Hospice emphasizes quality, rather than length of life. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones your death. It affirms life and regards dying as a normal process.
  • Bereavement counseling is provided to your family for up to 13 months after your death.

When Is the Right Time for Hospice Care?

There is not always a specific point during an illness when a person should ask about hospice care. However, many professionals recommend thinking about hospice long before you’re faced with a medical crisis. Considering hospice as an option early on can help ease the decision-making process later, for you and your support system.

Here are some signs and symptoms that indicate a person may be ready to begin receiving hospice care:

  • Unintentional and progressive weight loss
  • A decline in the ability to perform routine daily activities, such as eating, bathing or dressing
  • Frequent infections or non-healing wounds
  • Frequent hospitalizations or emergency department visits
  • Increased weakness and/or fatigue
  • A progressive decline, even with the use of curative medical therapies

It is important to know that hospice does not provide round-the-clock care. This is the responsibility of a patient’s family or caregiver(s). All hospice patients are expected to have a contingency plan when it is determined that the patient can no longer safely care or live by themselves. We have this conversation with patients, family members and caregivers at the point of admission in hospice, and it will continue to be assessed as a patient’s needs evolve.

(207) 907-1000
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