Questions? We're here for you.
Here are answers to some of the common, but more complex, questions that people often ask about Agrace.
No. Agrace patients make their own choice about whether they prefer to be resuscitated or to die naturally if their heart or breathing stops. They are not required to have “do not resuscitate” status. When patients enroll, we talk with them and their family or health care agent to be sure we know their end-of-life wishes and advance directives.
When you enroll, you name an “attending physician” to your hospice team. It could be your primary care doctor or a specialist who has been caring for you. Your attending physician works closely with the Agrace staff, by continuing to order medications, treatments and other support that you need.
No. It is an intermittent service, which means the Agrace care team makes scheduled in-home visits according to the patient’s and family’s needs. Importantly, our patients have access to a nurse and a social worker any time of day or night for information, support and problem-solving, either by phone or a home visit.
People who need in-home assistance for extended periods, every day or around-the-clock may need to hire private caregivers. Agrace Age at Home—a home care service that operates in Dane, Sauk and parts of other adjacent Wisconsin counties—provides this type of support on a private-pay basis, as do several other senior care companies. Your hospice team can help you arrange this support, and we will work closely with any caregivers you hire.
Most likely not—most of our patients are able to stay in the comfort of home. About 95 percent of our services are provided in patients’ (or relatives’) homes, or in assisted living or nursing homes. However, if you have pain, breathing difficulties or other health problems that cannot be managed at home, your nurse may recommend that you come to one of Agrace’s two inpatient units (IPUs) for care—usually for just a few days—until you are well enough to return home.
Sometimes—if the patient’s goal in receiving the treatment is to relieve pain or other symptoms of their terminal illness, rather than to try to cure the illness. In hospice these treatments or therapies may be called ‘open access’ or ‘concurrent services.’ Agrace considers these requests individually, so please ask us about your specific case.
There is no limit to the length of time you can be a hospice patient, if you continue to have a life expectancy of six months or less, and the primary goal of your care remains comfort, not a cure for your illness. While you are receiving our care, you will have regular reviews of your health status, including face-to-face visits with an Agrace doctor or nurse practitioner.