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Health Spot: Hospice and End of Life Care

  • Category: Hospice
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Regardless of age, most people want to know they are safe, comfortable and understood. End of life is no different.

My name is Dawn Stewart and I am a hospice social worker at Gunnison Valley Health. I would like to tell you about what end of life care looks like in the Gunnison Valley.

Hospice or comfort care is designed to support terminally ill patients and their families with comfort and dignity when they are no longer interested in pursuing treatment. When a physician determines a patient has six months or less to live, hospice can support and enrich a patient’s end of life. Patients come to hospice for different reasons: treatments are not working, the side effects are difficult to manage or patients are tired and want a simpler experience with what time they have left.

Comfort care includes: pain and symptom management and emotional and spiritual support for patients and family. The care team comes to you whether you want hospice care in your home or in the hospice suite at the Senior Care Center. Our team includes nurses, aids, social workers, chaplains and hospice volunteers. Nurses are available 24 hours a day.

Hospice benefits are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans. Thanks to the generosity of our community no one in the Gunnison Valley is refused hospice due to the inability to pay.

After a patient dies, hospice services for grief and loss are available for 13 months, offering support at both ends of the valley.

Hospice care provides comfort and dignity at end of life. If you have questions about end of life care please talk to your provider or call Gunnison Valley Health’s Home Medical Services department to learn more.