Hospice and How it Works

Hospice is a different kind of medical care, consisting of comprehensive comfort-oriented services and compassionate attention.  This is designed to help patients maximize control over their lives and live with dignity when facing a serious illness

Hospice provides treatments that address comfort and quality of life.  Controlling pain and other distressing symptoms is a major priority.

A person is considered eligible for Hospice care if the physician estimates a life expectancy of six months or less, should the disease run its normal course.

You or your family can begin by contacting The Community Hospice directly at 518-724-0242.  Hospice will contact your doctor concerning your medical appropriateness for Hospice care.  Or your doctor may contact Hospice after discussing it with you.  You actually become a patient of Hospice by signing a consent form electing hospice care.

Once on the Hospice program, you will be cared for by a team of professionals and volunteers.  The professionals include a nurse, social worker, chaplain, and home health aide; volunteers provide companionship, transportation, pick-up and delivery of medications, respite and other services. A "plan of care" is developed for each individual based on the particular needs of the patient and family.

The Community Hospice is an option for people facing any disease, including heart disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, cancer, kidney disease, Parkinson’s, ALS, MS, liver disease, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s and dementia.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you should consider calling Hospice:

  • Is treatment no longer helping or working?
  • Has the patient experienced one or more life-threatening infections during the past six months?
  • Have there been multiple trips to the hospital or emergency room during the past year?
  • Has there been unintentional weight loss and/or decreased food intake?
  • Is there difficulty swallowing?
  • Has there been a continued decline in ability to function?
  • Have you been told there’s no further treatment available and care will now focus on providing comfort or relieving the symptoms, as opposed to prolonging life?
  • Is it becoming more and more difficult for the caregiver to take care of the patient?
  • Has a medical professional given the patient a prognosis of six months or less?