Frequently Asked Questions

How Soon is "Too Soon for Hospice"?

Often we hear the phrase, "It's too soon for hospice." Consider the following questions:


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Is it too soon for the pain and symptom management hospice can provide so that a patient is comfortable?
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Is it too soon for an exhausted caregiver to receive help with the physical care of a loved one?
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Is it too soon for emotional support for the patient and family?
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Is it too soon for RN access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
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Is it too soon to discuss patient and family wishes and goals?
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Is it too soon for the family budget to receive a break on medications,equipment and supplies so that out of pocket expenses are decreased?
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Is it too soon for closure?
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Is it too soon for access to resources such as social workers, chaplains, volunteers and other end of life specialists?

Considering that:

Almost one third of all patients admitted to hospice die within 7 days
AND Most families will miss out on the full benefit of our bereavement services if they haven't been given time to establish a trusting relationship with our staff
AND Many families respond that their loved one was referred to hospice too late...

Please call us if you have any questions or need more information.
(252)338-4066 or toll-free 1-800-478-0477


What You Need to Know for Later



Hospice is not a place. It is a type of care that helps people who are dying and the people who care about them and for them. It is usually provided in the patient's own home or a home-like setting, yet may also be in a hospital, nursing home or other place where the right support is available.


It is for people with terminal illnesses or conditions that will not be cured, who have about six months or less to live. It is also for the family and loved ones of the person who is dying.


Hospice provides needed medical attention, pain control, spiritual and emotional support, and support for family members, too. Coordinating that is not easy. Hospice provides a team of medical professionals and trained volunteers to help manage medication, equipment and supplies as well as non-medical support such as visiting nurses, spiritual support, insurance payments, home-care needs, etc.


Most insurance plans, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, pay for Hospice services. When insurance does not pay, or if a person does not have insurance or the financial ability to pay, Hospice care can usually still be provided.


Because the needs of patients and families facing death are very different than those who are working to resolve an illness, and Hospice offers the experience and understanding of what is needed. Because most people say they want to live their final time in the comfort of their own home, as pain-free as possible, in the company of the people who matter most to them. Because patients and their loved ones can learn from Hospice ways to better live in the time remaining. Because people grieving a loss benefit from special kinds of support and comfort.


Just the opposite. Hospice keeps patients aware of their options and in full control of decision-making regarding their care. Hospice's role is to help patients with meeting their individual needs.


Hospice affirms life. Hospice exists to provide the support and care for persons in the last phases of an incurable disease so that they might live as fully and comfortably as possible. It does not mean giving up hope. The focus of hope shifts toward helping the patient achieve maximum physical comfort and peace of mind.


Services to the patient generally are available for six months prior to when death is expected. But since no one can accurately predict the date of death, most insurance companies provide flexibility.


Because 9 out of 10 adults say they would prefer to live out their lives peacefully at home, rather than in a hospital or other caregiving place. Hospice usually can make that possible, while making reducing the burden on the patient's family and friend caregivers, allowing their remaining time to be a better quality.


If your condition is determined to be terminal, not only you but everyone close to you will experience stress, uncertainty, doubt, worry and confusion. Everyone will experience it in their own way, yet Hospice can help all through this difficult time.


A Hospice team typically includes the following:
  • Nurses to visit the patient's home to manage medications, provide injections, monitor the patient's physical health, answer medical questions and teach family members how to care for the one who is dying.
  • Certified Nursing Assistants and Home Health Aides to bathe patients, wash their hair, freshen their linens, tidy-up their rooms, etc.
  • Social Workers to help patients with their often-changing emotional, medical, financial or spiritual concerns. They also can assist with completing Advance Directives, answering insurance questions, arranging support for caregivers, etc.
  • Spiritual support provided by the patient's own pastor or rabbi or, if preferred, interfaith clergy provided by Hospice.
  • Trained Volunteers to keep patients company, to read to them, to shop for necessities, and to give the primary caregivers a break.
  • Bereavement Counselors to help family members for more than a year after the loved one's death, through support groups, individual counseling and written tips on getting through the grieving process.





Phone: (252) 338-4066 or 800-478-0477 | Hours: M - F 8am to 5pm On-Call 24/7

Albemarle Home Care, Albemarle Hospice, and DayBreak Adult Day Health Center do not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or on the basis of disability or age in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits of its programs and activities, or employment.