What is hospice?

Hospice is a specialized type of comprehensive and compassionate care for the terminally ill and their loved ones.  The goal of hospice is to care and not to cure, and to provide patients with the comfort, dignity, and symptom management that will help them find peace and meaning in the final months and weeks of their lives.

When is it time to consider hospice?

When it's time to focus on helping a person live as fully and comfortably as possible, rather than on curing the disease, it's time to consider hospice. Anyone with a life expectancy of six months or less is eligible and can choose hospice care.

We encourage anyone with a life-threatening illness -- or anyone whose family member, partner, or friend has a life-threatening illness -- to contact us and become informed about hospice options.

Who is eligible for hospice care?

You are eligible for hospice care if your doctor, in consultation with our medical director, determines that you have a life expectancy of six months or less.

Do patients need to be referred by a doctor?

No, you do not need to wait for a doctor to suggest hospice; anyone can refer someone to us. Patients can refer themselves. Feel free to ask your doctor about us or contact us directly to get information.

Where do patients receive care?

Patients receive care either in their own homes or in our hospice residence.

Hospice of the Fisher Home offers care at home for those who live in the greater Amherst-Northampton area and have caregivers who are able to meet their needs between visits from our staff. Our team brings our full range of services to at-home patients, including training and support for caregivers.

Our hospice residence offers a homelike setting with 24-hour access to a full kitchen and dining room, sitting rooms, and gardens. Our patients stay in private rooms and receive round-the-clock nursing care from our experienced, dedicated staff and our specially trained volunteers.

Who pays for hospice care?

Most insurance plans, including Medicare, Medicaid, and private plans, cover the medical services associated with hospice care. For those who stay in our hospice residence, there is also a room and board fee, which is not covered by most insurance plans, although it is partially covered by many long-term care plans. Our director of finance meets with prospective patients and families to offer financial advice and develop a plan that works for each family.

What will Hospice of the Fisher Home do?

The Hospice of the Fisher Home will:
  • Create an individualized care plan to allow your loved one to live in comfort either in their own home or in the homelike, caring, and compassionate environment of our hospice residence.
  • Treat pain and all other physical symptoms.
  • Address the emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of terminal illness, honoring customs of all cultures and beliefs.
  • Help navigate complex end-of-life decisions, providing guidance on matters such as advance directives, do-not-resuscitate orders, and Medicaid applications.
  • Offer peace of mind by providing staff who are available around the clock.
  • Provide bereavement support to loved ones for the year following a patient's death.

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