Good questions
Great answers

How is Volunteer Hospice different from other hospices?
Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County is a local, independent nonprofit organization, serving the population of Clallam County without a single taxpayer dollar, and without limitations inherent of government funded agencies. Volunteer Hospice does not bill any insurance company or government agency for services. All services provided by Volunteer Hospice are FREE, thanks to the generosity of donors and volunteers.

Why aren't you a Medicare Hospice?
Our founder, Rose Crumb, was passionate about keeping Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County as a free-standing, volunteer intensive hospice in order to give patients and their families more flexibility near the end of life. Volunteer Hospice also operates programs that could not be covered by government or private insurance.

When should a decision about entering a hospice program be made, and who should decide?
Hospice can be discussed at any time during a life-limiting illness along with all other care options. Unlike Medicare-funded hospices, Volunteer Hospice can admit patients even if they continue treatment for their life-limiting illness. The sooner a patient enters a hospice program, the more opportunity there is to address physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. The decision to enter a hospice program belongs to the patient and family.

How is a person admitted to Volunteer Hospice?
A physician referral is necessary for admission. Once a referral is made, Volunteer Hospice nurses assess the patient to determine if they qualify for care. The intake assessment evaluates the need for social, emotional, and physical support for a patient facing a life-limiting illness.

Should I wait for our physician to raise the possibility of hospice, or should I raise it first?
Physicians may recommend hospice care for a patient, or patients and families can initiate the conversation with their physician at any time.

What if our physician doesn't know about Volunteer Hospice?
Physicians seeking more information can contact us at 360-452-1511.

Can a patient living in a nursing home or convalescent home become a hospice patient?
We provide care in homes and facilities. Each situation is different and requires assessment by our care team.

What specific assistance does Volunteer Hospice provide patients?
We provide nursing care availability 24/7, respite volunteers, chaplain volunteers, social worker volunteers, and specialized services (such as haircuts, massages, and music therapy). We refer and coordinate services with community resources for social workers, counselors, home health aides, and clergy. In addition, hospice provides medical supplies and equipment, and additional helpers in the home as appropriate. Each patient and their family are unique, and every effort is made to tailor care to the patient and family's wishes and choices.

Does hospice hasten death or shorten life?
The goal of hospice is to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual comfort to individuals living with a life-limiting illness. Hospice adds life to days when days of life are limited.

What if the patient gets better?
Sometimes patients experience remarkable improvement in their condition and are no longer "terminal". They may be discharged. Patients can be re-admitted if their condition changes again.

How does hospice manage pain?
To address physical pain, Volunteer Hospice nurses obtain physician's orders for pain medications or changes in dosage. To address emotional or spiritual pain, volunteers are available to support patients and caregivers.

Does hospice provide any help to the family after the patient dies?
Volunteer Hospice provides support after the death of a loved one. We also offer individual bereavement sessions and grief support groups to anyone in the community who has experienced the death of a family member, friend, or loved one.

Does Volunteer Hospice have a patient care facility?
No. Volunteer Hospice provides care where the patient already resides.

Is there a minimum age to enter Volunteer Hospice?
Each referral is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Is Volunteer Hospice affiliated with a particular faith?
Volunteer Hospice has no faith affiliation.

Can you borrow anything from Volunteer Hospice?
Medical equipment is available to anyone in the community depending on inventory. Some specialty items are reserved for patients.

Do you have to work with patients if you volunteer with Volunteer Hospice?
There are many different volunteer opportunities, some with patient contact, some without. Volunteer roles include respite & companionship, reception, administrative work, equipment maintenance, delivery & pick-up, donor recognition, public speaking, grant writing, board work, and grief support.

Is a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order required?
We meet patients where they are and offer guidance to support decision-making choices.

What is Volunteer Hospice position regarding Medical Aid in Dying (MAID)?
Volunteer Hospice refers anyone interested in pursuing Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) to While VHOCC staff and volunteers serve anyone regardless of their choices, they will not be present at the time that MAID medication is ingested. Staff and volunteers will be available to offer post-mortem care and family support after death has occurred.