Intro and Mission
We believe everyone on Whidbey Island deserves local access to high-quality healthcare.
WhidbeyHealth Hospice provides the highest quality hospice services, and compassionate end-of-life care for people with a life-limiting disease. Our providers offer services that are uniquely customized to the needs of each patient.
WhidbeyHealth Hospice is Medicare-certified, which means that someone on Medicare receives hospice services at no cost.
What is Hospice?
WHAT IS HOSPICE?
Hospice addresses pain and symptom management as well as emotional and spiritual needs. Services are provided in the home, where most patients prefer to be. Hospice is also provided in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Hospice offers an alternative to therapies focused on life-prolonging measures that may be difficult, may cause more symptoms, or are not aligned with a person's goals. Hospice provides all medications, services and equipment necessary for patient comfort. Hospice also offers bereavement care (grief support) for up to 13 months.
Our Hospice Philosophy
WhidbeyHealth's Hospice philosophy reflects an all-embracing, holistic and team-centered approach to supportive care. Our Hospice services address pain and symptom management as well as emotional and spiritual needs. Hospice values life as well as the patient's wishes and choices; a special kind of care that focuses on helping individuals live their life to the fullest.
Hospice is comfort-focused care for patients who are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. It is our goal to provide and promote the comfort, peace and dignity of every individual. WhidbeyHealth Hospice makes every effort to respect each of our patient's goals, preferences and choices while remaining sensitive to personal, cultural and religious beliefs throughout the end-of-life journey.
SERVICES WE PROVIDE
Hospice services are provided for individuals who have any type of end-stage illness in which a physician has determined life expectancy is six months or less. Hospice services are not limited to six months. WhidbeyHealth Hospice provides services as long as we are needed or wanted.
The difference between Hospice and Home Health Care:
Hospice at WhidbeyHealth are services that help patient and family maximize the remaining moments following a terminal illness, delivered with dignity and respect.
- Home Health care covers a wide range of services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury.
- WhidbeyHealth does not offer Home Health
WhidbeyHealth Hospice includes:
- Managing the physical symptoms of your illness to provide comfort.
- Providing emotional support for you and your loved ones.
- Providing spiritual guidance and support.
- Providing education about your disease process and changes that may occur during the progression of a life-limiting illness.
- Teaching your family & caregivers how to care for you.
- Providing bereavement support for your family.
- Assisting you in maintaining your sense of dignity.
- Promoting quality of life for you and your family.
Our team supports patients and families with comprehensive expertise in the management of physical, emotional and spiritual needs. For most hospice patients, "comfort care" means spending the last months of their lives within familiar surroundings with family, friends, pets and relaxed routines.
Patients utilizing the WhidbeyHealth WhidbeyHealth Community Pharmacy for their Hospice medications can have meds delivered to the home - exceptional service and improving caretaking one patient at a time.
Meet the Team
Hospice resources for Patients & Caregivers
- Planning for future care based on your values, beliefs, preferences and medical issues is a process, not an event. An Advanced Directive is the record of that process. How one wants to live and be treated as well as speak on your behalf.
- Hospice is a right to which all Medicare beneficiaries have access to. Hospice is also typically covered by most private insurers as well as by state Medicaid.
- What Matters to Me is a workbook resource designed to prepare patients with serious illness for conversations with their health care team about what is most important to them. Sharing goals and preferences with your health care team allows you to choose the kind of care that's right for you.
- Planning for your final days is hard, but it's an invaluable gift to caretakers and loved ones. Click here to access guidance for starting a conversation about end-of-life care.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Can I continue to see my regular doctor when I choose hospice?
A: You choose your attending provider when you enroll in hospice. Our Medical Director, Dr. Shana Fogarty, has the expertise to care for your specific symptom management needs and can be your attending physician. If continuing your relationship with your Primary Care Provider (PCP) is important to you, then you can choose your PCP as your attending provider.
Q: Can I continue to see my specialty doctor when I enroll in hospice?
A: Hospice focuses on comfort-focused care, rather than curing an illness. Most patients have symptoms that make it hard to travel to doctors' offices. Your hospice team can work with your specialty team and keep your physician up to date.
Q: Will my usual medications be continued when I choose hospice?
A: In the last year of life, the number of medications patients use can double. Some of the medications are for chronic illness, some for terminal illness and others for symptom control. Our goal is to simplify medications to reduce side effects and the "pill burden."
Q: Does enrolling in hospice mean I am giving up?
A: When you choose hospice, you are making the choice to focus on quality of life, rather than quantity. You are choosing to focus on your comfort and time with your loved ones, rather than time at doctor's appointments, the emergency department or in the hospital.
Q: Can I choose Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) and be enrolled in hospice?
A: Yes. Although WhidbeyHealth Hospice will not help you obtain the medication, we will support you and your loved ones through the process and beyond.
Q: What will a typical week on hospice be like?
A: As each person has different needs while on hospice, our services are tailored to meet your needs. Some weeks you may see only your nurse. On other weeks, you may see a nurse, hospice bath aide, social worker and spiritual care provider.
Q: Will Hospice stop all my medications and put me on morphine?
A: Hospice will continue the medications that keep your chronic illnesses under control, such as your diuretics, blood pressure medications, an thyroid replacement. Hospice does not use medication to hasten your death. Morphine is one of the best medications to manage pain and shortness of breath.
Q: Does hospice provide caregivers?
A: Hospice is not a caregiver service. Our team makes regular visits but does not come to stay for hours or overnight. Our team can work with you and your family to identify resources in the community or direct you to private caregiving services.