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What is hospice?


Hospice brings comprehensive and compassionate care to people with terminal illness. It affirms life and regards dying as a normal part of the human experience. Hospice care is delivered by a team of specialists with experience and expertise in end-of-life care.

The goal of hospice is to provide patients with expert care and symptom management that will help bring them dignity, meaning, and peace in the final months and weeks of their lives.

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What is Hospice of the Fisher Home?

Hospice of the Fisher Home is an independent, freestanding, nonprofit hospice program, located in Amherst, Massachusetts, and serving the Pioneer Valley. We offer expert, compassionate care to all, regardless of age, race, religion, sexual orientation, or ability to pay. Services can be provided in the patient's home or in our hospice residence.

Our clinical staff, a multidisciplinary team of specialists experienced with end-of-life care, offers medical care, pain and symptom management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes. We also provide support to the patient's loved ones. Choosing to enter our hospice program does not mean giving up on life. In fact, our care often extends people's lives, by focusing on their physical comfort and emotional needs in a way that is not possible in institutions not dedicated exclusively to hospice care.

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Who is eligible for hospice care?

Anyone whose doctor, in consultation with our medical director, has determined a life expectancy of six months or less is eligible for hospice.

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When is it time to consider hospice?

When it's time to focus on helping a patient live as fully and comfortably as possible, rather than on curing the disease, it's time to consider hospice.

Anyone with a terminal illness and life expectancy of six months or less is eligible and can choose hospice care. The aim is to provide a meaningful experience for patients and loved ones that includes treating physical, spiritual, and emotional needs.

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Do patients need to be referred by a doctor?

You do not need to wait for a doctor to suggest hospice; anyone can refer a patient to us. Patients can refer themselves. Feel free to ask your physician about us or contact us directly to get information.

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Where do patients receive care?
Patients receive care either in their own homes or in our hospice residence.

At home
Hospice of the Fisher Home offers care at home for patients who live nearby and have caregivers who are able to provide care between visits from our staff. Our team brings the full range of services to at-home patients, including training and support for caregivers.

In our hospice residence
For those who choose it, our hospice resi?dence offers a homelike setting, with 24-hour access to a full kitchen and dining room, sitting rooms, and gardens. Patients stay in private rooms and receive around the clock nursing care from our experienced, dedicated staff and our specially trained volunteers.

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Who pays for hospice care?

Most insurance plans, including Medicare, Medicaid, and private plans, cover the medical services associated with hospice care.

For patients who stay in our hospice residence there is a room and board fee that is not covered by most insurance plans. Hospice of the Fisher Home is committed to providing care and will work with the patient and family/loved ones to resolve financial concerns.

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What will Hospice of the Fisher Home do?

  • Create an individualized case plan to allow the patient to live life with hope and meaning.
  • Treat pain and all other physical symptoms.
  • Address the emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of terminal illness, honoring customs of all cultures and beliefs.
  • Help the patient and loved ones navigate complex end-of-life decisions, providing guidance on matters such as advance directives, do-not-resuscitate orders, and Medicaid applications.
  • Offer peace of mind to patients and loved ones by providing staff who are available and on call around the clock.
  • Provide bereavement support to loved ones for 13 months after a patient's death.

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