What is hospice?
Hospice is a philosophy of care committed to helping a person live out the last months, weeks and days of life as fully as possible. Hospice is for individuals seeking comfort and relief of symptoms rather than curative treatment and serves patients in their homes, assisted living, nursing facilities, hospitals and Centra's Hospice House. Hospice care extends to the family, caregivers, and friends. We provide culturally sensitive care for people of any background, faith or diagnosis.
Many families say that they wish they had learned about hospice care earlier to give them more time to take full advantage of the services. Often patients and families wait for their physician to suggest hospice care. If you are wondering whether hospice care may be appropriate for a loved one, ask your physician or call the Centra Hospice office for additional information.
In addition to high quality medical, spiritual an psychosocial support, Centra Hospice offers many options for personalized services such as: music therapy, comfort touch massage, aromatherapy and pet therapy.
Why Centra Hospice?
Not All Hospices Are Alike.
Centra Hospice is locally owned, is a not-for-profit organization and has been proudly serving the community for over 30 years.
- Our hospice services offer more choices and options for care than traditional hospices. An example of this is that Centra Hospice will offer and cover blood transfusions if this is something the patient and hospice team deem appropriate.
- Dedicated, full-time medical director, physicians and nurse practitioners
- Expert palliative, end-of-life care and bereavement services
- Connection to Centra's full continuum of care including Hospice House, skilled nursing facilities and hospital facilities
- Individualized, coordinated care by a team of experienced professionals and trained volunteers
- We offer complimentar services such as pet therapy, music therapy, aromatherapy and comfort touch massage
Centra Hospice provides a team-oriented approach to expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support tailored to the patient's needs.
The Centra Hospice team consists of:
- Medical Director
- Physicians & Nurse Practitioners
- Home care aides
- Social Workers
- Patient's attending physician
Who is eligible?
Hospice is for any person with a life limiting condition and a prognosis of six months or less who is seeking comfort and relief of pain and symptoms rather than curative treatment. It may be surprising to learn that heart disease and general debility are two of the most common reasons for patients to receive hospice care. Some examples of life limiting conditions are: heart, lung, liver or kidney disease; cancer, ALS, HIV, Alzheimer's disease/dimentia, general decline.
What services are provided?
- Certified hospice nurses. Care is directed at effective pain and symptom management so the patient can be alert and as comfortable as possible.
- 24/7 access. On-call nurses are available when you need them.
- Home delivery of supplies. No need for you to run around to gather supplies when you could be spending precious time with loved ones.
- Social Workers. Social work services include counseling, referral, and advocacy. Staff helps persons and families understand and work through the many dimensions of dying and bereavement.
- Strong volunteer program. Carefully recruited and thoroughly trained volunteers are actively involved in direct and indirect patient care roles and participate as members of the interdisciplinary team.
- Bereavement support. Bereavement staff intervene early after the death of the loved one to provide counseling, support groups, visits, notes and phone calls. Bereavement support continues for at least one year. See below for additional bereavement information.
- Chaplaincy services. Chaplains are available to meet the spiritual needs of the patient and family and/or be a liaison between the patient/family and their religious community. Chaplains will assist with arrangements for memorial and funeral services if requested.
- Hospice House. An option for patients of Centra Hospice, Hospice House provides residential, supportive care in a home-like environment.
- Patient and family support. Hospice provides care and services wherever the patient lives; home, nursing facility, assisted living facility and retirement communities.
- Optional services. Music therapy, comfort-touch massage, aromatherapy and pet therapy.
Who pays for hospice?
Cost should not be a concern. Hospice is paid for through the Medicare Hospice Benefit, the Medicaid Hospice Benefit and most commercial insurances. Centra Hospice will help to determine coverage available and will provide care regardless of the person's ability to pay for services.
The Medicare/Medicaid Hospice Benefit and most insurances provide these services through the benefit:
- Nursing services
- Care in the home
- Respite care (provides relief to caregivers)
- Inpatient hospital care for symptoms that cannot be adequately managed at home
- Continuous care for up to 24 hours per day in times of crisis
- Physician services to provide palliation and management of the hospice illness and related conditions
- Social services
- Counseling services
- Spiritual counseling provided by clergy
- Bereavement counseling for 13 months following the death of the patient
- Nutritional counseling
- Home health aide services
- Personal care services through the Medicaid Hospice Benefit
- Volunteer support to assist the patient and loved ones
- Medical supplies/equipment related to the care of the terminal illness
- Medications related to the hospice diagnosis
- Durable medical equipment (i.e., hospital beds, oxygen concentrator) related to the hospice diagnosis
- Physical, speech and occupational therapies
- Diagnostic studies related to the care of the terminal illness
- Palliative radiation/chemotherapy
Bereavement Services - The Experience of Loss
The grieving process one experiences after a loss is much like an uncharted journey. At times it seems like smooth sailing and at other times our sense of well-being is rocked and tossed about as waves of intense emotion come from nowhere and feel like they will overwhelm us. While each journey is unique, taking the time it takes, there are some common experiences that grieving persons oftentimes report. It is comforting to know that you are not alone if you are experiencing:
- a change in sleep and/or appetite patterns
- decreased energy
- difficulty concentrating/making decisions
- the feeling of being in a fog
- heightened sensitivity
- a desire to cocoon immediately following the death
- would have, should have, could have, what if?
- why, why now, why this way?
- questioning the meaning of life
- questions about rediscovering purpose of life
Grieving persons frequently comment, "I never knew I could hurt this much. I didn't know the pain could be so great. If you are grieving, know that the pain you are feeling is a reflection of the connection and love you enjoyed with that person, and it is a reflection of the process you are struggling with as you recreate how that relationship will be experienced without physical presence of the person in your life.
- Grief Support Groups (FREE & open to the public)
- Individual counseling (for family members of Centra Hospice patients)
- Community educational programs (FREE & open to the public)
Self Care Tips - Ideas to Help you Through the Grief Process
- Talk to trusted friends
- Join a support group
- Listen to music
- Engage in art projects
- Prayer or meditation
- Keep a journal or write letters to your loved on
- Do not give yourself a hard time if the symptoms are not going away fast enough.
- Find ways to minimize the stressors in your life
As a member of the hospice team, our volunteers play a significant role in the care provided to patients and their family members. Centra Hospice volunteers are valued members of a caring professional team and have the satisfaction of knowing their time makes a difference. Volunteering for Centra Hospice offers an opportunity to be of service to others at a critical time of life.
Centra Hospice volunteers come from a variety of careers and backgrounds. Having an interest and willingness to understand the hospice philosophy of care is a good place to begin. No prior experience is necessary and all volunteers receive eight hours of classroom training to prepare for the numerous opportunities available.
Volunteering offers a great deal of flexibility and a variety of options. Whether reading to a patient, assisting a family member, running errands, delivering supplies, working on special projects or assisting behind the scenes in the office, every minutes counts and is of great value to our team, patients and families. For more information on volunteering or training dates, please contact Linda Noble 434.200.5077.
Centra Hospice, Lynchburg
Office Location: 2097 Langhorne Road, Lynchburg VA 24501
Mailing Address: 3300 Rivermont Ave., Lynchburg VA 24503
Phone: 434.200.3204, Fax: 434.200.7468
Centra Hospice, Farmville
713 Oak Street
Farmville, VA 23901
Phone: 434.315.2885, Fax: 434.200.7468
Centra Hospice, Bedford
1621 Whitfield Drive
Bedford, VA 24523
Phone: 540.587.6592, Fax 540.586.0468
Centra Hospice is a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Association, a member of the Virginia Association for Home Care and Hospice, and certified by the JCAHO, Medicare and Medicaid. Centra Hospice was founded in 1983 (as Hospice of the Hills) and was one of the first in Virginia. Since it's founding, Centra Hospice has provided service to hundreds of patients living in the central Virginia area. Patients with a prognosis of six months or less, both cancer and non-cancer illnesses are eligible to receive hospice services. Hospice considers the patient and family together as the unit of care.