“How do I get started with Hospice?”

We treat every patient and family with a supportive approach that is tailored to their circumstances. Here is a general guide to the process of getting started with the Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard:

  • A loved one may have a life-limiting illness. A life-limiting illness is a serious illness that may lead to death. Some people choose to receive treatment for a life-limiting illness, and some do not. Hospice’s palliative care                                     services can be helpful no matter what the treatment choice may be.
  • There are signs that a life-limiting illness is progressing:
    • persistent appetite and weight loss
    • sleeping more than usual
    • loss of energy for usual activities.
  • Who calls the Hospice? You, a loved one, a friend, a neighbor, a health care professional or anyone that knows someone with a life limiting illness, someone with pain management issues or someone who has lost a loved one and needs support.
  • Who answers the call? One of the hospice staff members will answer your call. They will discuss our program and put you in touch with a hospice nurse.
  • Then, what happens next? One of our experienced and compassionate hospice nurses will visit the patient and the family support group to answer questions and see if hospice is appropriate.
  • If so, a plan of care is created with the hospice team. The Hospice Team includes: the patient, the patient’s family, the patient’s physician, the Hospice’s Medical Director, hospice nurse or nurses, social work & bereavement counselors, chaplain and volunteers.
  • Where do we meet? We will meet you wherever you are most comfortable. Whether it be with you at with you at home, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Windemere, Longhill Residence Hall, Henrietta Brewer House or at the Hospice office our nursing staff will be available to you.
  • How often will I see my team? The plan of care will determine the schedule of visits from various team members and the plan will evolve to meet your changing needs. You can contact a hospice nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The nurse will introduce a social worker, chaplain, or volunteers when you wish. You are in charge of your care.
  • How do I pay for hospice? Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard offers all services free of charge. We are generously supported through donations from caring people.
  • What happens if I get better? Your condition may improve and you no longer need hospice. The hospice team will discharge you with promise of continued support should you or your family need it.