Hospice Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for hospice care?

Hospice care is appropriate when a patient has a life expectancy of about six months or less. While patients must have a doctor’s referral to enter hospice care, the patient, family and friends can initiate the process by contacting Willamette Valley Hospice.

Can a hospice patient who shows signs of recovery be returned to curative treatment?

Certainly, if the patient’s condition improves and the illness seems to be in remission, the patient can choose to leave hospice care and return to aggressive therapy.

Where does hospice care take place?

Willamette Valley Hospice staff provides hospice care wherever a patient calls home. Although most hospice patients are cared for in their own homes, others may live in nursing homes, assisted living homes, nursing home facilities or our Edward F. Tokarski Home.

How does hospice care provide comfort for patients through distressing symptoms?

Our role, in providing comfort-based hospice care, is to maximize the patient’s quality of life. We focus on pain control and symptom management by educating patients and families so they can make their own decisions regarding visitations, services, use of pain medications, counseling and other hospice services. We provide patients and families with the knowledge they need to minimize the patient’s discomfort.

How is hospice care paid for?

Hospice is a benefit covered by Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration and most private insurance plans. We believe hospice care should be available to all people. We make sure our patients and their families receive the support they need, whether or not they can pay. This is made possible through the generous support of our donors.

Does Willamette Valley Hospice provide support for the family after the patient dies?

Our comprehensive program supports anyone grieving the loss of a loved one, whether or not they were cared for by Willamette Valley Hospice. We offer individual counseling sessions, support groups, workshops, community events and Camp Mighty Oaks, an annual summer camp for children and families with fun-filled activities that promote hope and healing.

What areas does Willamette Valley Hospice serve?

Please see our service area map for a complete list of the locations we serve. Please contact us with any questions about service area.

More information also is available on our educational site, seriousillness.org/salem.