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What is Hospice?
About Hospice Care
Hospice is a concept of care for those facing a life-threatening illness. The difference between hospice and other types of care we receive throughout our lives is the goal.

In hospice we do not seek to cure a person of a disease, but rather to provide comfort during the last stages of a person’s illness, when a cure is no longer an option. Hospice is a service primarily dispensed in a person’s home or residence, which can include a nursing home or family member’s home. Jefferson County Hospice care is delivered by a specially trained team that includes two local medical directors, nurses, bath aids, a social worker, a chaplain, and dedicated volunteers.

Focus of the Hospice Team
In providing comfort care there are four things the hospice team will focus on. We strive to improve quality of life, promote emotional and spiritual balance, manage symptoms, and control pain so that our clients and their families can focus on the more important task of cherishing the time they have together.

Beginning Hospice Services
To begin hospice services, a doctor determines that, considering the normal disease process, a person has less than six months to live, and that doctor then makes a referral to hospice. Medicare and Medicaid have a hospice benefit, and many other private insurance companies cover at least a part of hospice.

Nonprofit Services Provided
The Hospice of Jefferson County is a nonprofit organization. Through the fundraising of our committed volunteer group, the Friends of Hospice of Jefferson County, we offer services regardless of ability to pay. 

More Information
If anyone should have questions about Hospice care, they may call Betsy Schmelzle at the Jefferson County Health Department, Home Health and Hospice, at (785) 863-2447.

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