Group Health's Hospice Program is for patients who are receiving end-of-life care from a friend or relative, usually at home. The Hospice Program offers physical, emotional, and spiritual care for patients who are in advanced stages of incurable illness. Hospice also helps patients' families cope with the illness.
We emphasize making the most of the patient's remaining life. Patients choose hospice care for support and comfort when efforts towards recovery are no longer reasonable.
The Hospice Care Team
Your hospice care team includes:
- Registered nurses. Our nurses provide skilled care, teach pain management, and help prepare patients and their families for expected changes. Hospice visiting nurses are available 24 hours a day for phone consultation or home visits.
- Medical social workers. Our social workers help families deal with stress, financial problems, and issues of death and dying and changing relationships. They provide information about and help with other home care needs.
- Spiritual counselors. Our counselors offer guidance and support for the patient and family, and coordinate spiritual needs with community clergy.
- Group Health doctor. The patient's doctor continues to supervise care while coordinating with the Hospice Program's medical director.
- Specially trained volunteers. We train our volunteers to serve as companions, provide respite care while family members take time for their own needs, run errands, and help with other family tasks. Learn more about our volunteer program.
- Home health aides. These aides help with bathing and personal care.
- Therapists. Physical, occupational, or speech therapists provide their services as needed.
We also offer a bereavement service to provide support and information about the grieving process. We can link family members to community resources such as grief support groups and can help support families through the first year following the loved one's death.
Hospice services usually begin when the patient's doctor believes the patient has six months or less to live. We offer hospice services in most parts of our service area. The Hospice Program is Medicare-certified.
For more information, contact your primary care physician or call one of the following numbers:
- Western Washington: Group Health Community Health Services, Referral Services Department, 206-326-4444 or 1-800-332-5735.
- Spokane area: Group Health Care Resource Department, 509-324-3740 or 1-888-245-9004.
- Tri-Cities area: 509-783-3484 or 1-888-245-9004.
- Yakima area: 509-324-3740 or 1-888-245-9004.