Hospice care is available to persons of any age whose illness is in the final stages, when a cure is no longer possible and the goal of treatment is comfort.
Our Hospice program provides an interdisciplinary team approach to care of patients and families experiencing the final phase of life. Hospice is not a place. It is a comprehensive approach to care including the physiological, sociological, educational, spiritual and emotional needs of the patient and family.
- Care of the patient and family, which includes pain and symptom management during the last weeks and months of the patient's life.
- Support services and case management for cancer and advanced disease patients and their families during the terminal phase of the patient's illness.
- Bereavement and counseling support to assist family members and significant others in the grief process that occurs with the terminal illness and death of a loved one.
- Education and presentations to inform community members about hospice care, pain and symptom management, grieving and bereavement.
Hospice team members
A Hospice team works with the patient and family members to plan and manage care that is needed. This team includes the patient's physician, the hospice medical director, nursing, social work, a chaplain and trained volunteers. Most hospice services are provided in the home. The hospice team will make every effort to provide the services, support and equipment needed to maintain the patient in the home as long as the patient and family desire, and the patient can be adequately provided for in that setting. When the safety or comfort of the patient cannot be managed at home, or when the caregiver is unable to continue with home care, the hospice staff may arrange for short-term inpatient care.
Participating in hospice
Hospice philosophy and care is a whole community effort. Individuals can participate by referring patients to the program, by serving as hospice volunteers or by making financial contributions to help support the hospice program.
Licensing and accreditation
The Hospice Program at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin is licensed by the State of Minnesota, accredited by The Joint Commission, and Medicare certified.