Hospice Care 2018-04-09T14:29:41+00:00

Hospice Care

Help For Those Living With A Terminal Illness

It’s never too early to learn about the benefits of hospice care. It’s not just for people in the last days of their lives. The reality is that, in many cases, hospice care can actually help people live longer. In virtually every case, hospice care brings significant comfort, peace and dignity to patients who are fearful, vulnerable, confused or exhausted from curative medical treatments that have failed to stop the progress of their illness.

Hospice cares is for people who are terminally ill and have an estimated lifespan of six months or less. Hospice is for anyone, of any age, who has a life-limited illness.

Each hospice patient and family has a team working together that supplements, but does not replace, the care provided by families, staff at an adult living facility, and other full-time caregivers.

Download the Printable Avow

English: Hospice Services Brochure

Spanish: Hospice Services Brochure

The Hospice Care Team

All Avow physicians and nurses are specially trained in comfort care. 

Our Team Includes:

  • A physician, either the patient’s private doctor or an Avow physician, who oversees the medical care.
  • An Avow nurse, who makes regularly scheduled visits and coordinates the plan of care with other team members.

 Our partners and volunteers complete the circle of care.

  • Doula Companion volunteers, or “end of life coaches,” and Vigil Volunteers who are available to patients at risk of dying alone. Doula companions receive advanced training and commit to being present with patients up to and through the time of death.
  • Volunteer coordinators who assist with placement of specially trained volunteers, who can be helping hands and friendly listeners.
  • Social service coordinators, who help with the psychological and social aspects of the illness and grief.
  • Complementary therapists who offer massage therapy, music therapy and Reiki treatments to provide added comfort, pain relief and improved quality of life. Click here to Learn More 
  • Spiritual care coordinators, who provide spiritual support.
  • Home health aides, who assist with personal care.

Treatment goals are aimed to relieve…

Physical Symptoms

Pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms are controlled as effectively as medically possible.

Emotional Symptoms

The patient and family are helped to cope with emotional distress connected with the illness and impending death.

Spiritual Symptoms

The patient and family are assisted with finding meaning in life and experiencing peace, even in the face of death.


Care Provided Where You Live

Hospice is not a building, like a hospital. When most people “enter a hospice program,” they receive care in the comfort of their own home — a house, apartment, mobile home or similar dwelling. “Home” can also be a nursing home, assisted living facility or extended care facility. It can also mean a jail cell, shelter or even the woods.

Sometimes patients need a level of care that can’t be provided at home. When that is the case, your care team may recommend short-term care in an inpatient facility such as the Frances Georgeson Hospice House at Avow.


Photo Gallery – Frances Georgeson Hospice House

Frequently Asked Questions

The goal of hospice care is to comfort rather than to cure. Hospice offers comprehensive pain relief and symptom management for people at the end of life and support for their families.

Anyone living with a terminal illness is eligible for hospice. Hospice care is appropriate when:

  • The physician thinks the patient will live six months or less if the disease runs its expected course
  • The patient, family and physician agree and understand that the focus of hospice care is pain and symptom control, not cure

Hospice care provides relief from physical and emotional pain so that the patient and family can spend their remaining days with comfort and dignity.

NOTE: If your illness is chronic, but not considered terminal, a palliative medicine consultation may be appropriate for you. Follow this link to learn more.

Most hospice patients receive care in their home or the home of a relative or friend. Care can also be provided in hospice inpatient facilities, long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, hospitals or nursing homes.
For most home health care providers, the goal is to get the patient well. In hospice, the staff and family recognize that the patient will not get well. They focus on comfort and support, rather than cure.

Hospice care is covered by most insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid. Hospice is a covered benefit under Medicare for people who have a life expectancy of six months or less. Most policies cover all costs of hospice care, though some may require a co-payment for prescriptions. Please check for the limits and provisions of your own coverage.

Paying for Services

We accept Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and personal funds for payment of care. We work with patients and families to make the payment process as simple as it can be. Most patients with Medicaid, Medicare or commercial insurance will be responsible for deductibles and/or coinsurance for hospice services, as determined by their insurance carrier.

No Collier County resident who qualifies for hospice care will be denied that care because of inability to pay. Patients and families are invited to call our Finance Department at (239) 430-3461 to discuss payment options.

Additional Resources:

Download Documentation:

Understanding the Billing and Payment Process (pdf)

Undertanding the Room and Board Payment Process (pdf)

Click Here To Learn More About Medicare, Medicaid Hospice Benefits & Insurance

If the patient’s condition improves, he or she can be discharged from hospice and return to other treatment or resume daily life. If the patient should later need to return to hospice care, Medicare and most insurance programs will allow additional coverage.
Anyone, even patients themselves, can request a consultation from Avow by calling our Avow CareLink telephone line at (239) 261-4404 or through our on-line consultation request form.

Request a Consultation

Anyone can request a consultation on hospice services, you don’t have to wait for a physician’s referral.  If you are not sure if you or your loved one is ready for hospice care, call us anyway – we’re ready to answer your questions and if appropriate, we’ll arrange for our staff to make a visit.


When you request a consultation, an Avow Care Coordinator will contact you to obtain preliminary information and to set up a meeting at your place of residence. This can be your private home, skilled nursing facility, assisted living facility, or hospital.

The Avow Care Coordinator will describe Avow’s hospice services and our philosophy of care. The Coordinator will answer any questions you have regarding insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, medication coverage and equipment needs. If you and/or your family elects hospice care, your physician will be notified and consent for care forms will be prepared by the Coordinator for authorization. A newly admitted hospice patient is typically visited by his/her primary care team the following day.

To qualify for hospice care, a patient must:

      • Agree to treatment aimed at comfort rather than cure
      • Have an incurable disease resulting in a limited life expectancy, as certified by a physician

To request a consultation or to make a referral for services, call (239) 261-4404 any time day or night or use our on-line consultation request form

More Services:

If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious illness or suffer from chronic illness, you may find solace from the mind-body-spirit approach of palliative care. This level of support is designed to help reduce the pain and anguish related to your illness.
If there is a child in your life who is facing serious illness or the loss of a loved one, Avow is here to support them, and you. Our professional services are designed to meet the unique needs of children and focus on comfort, hope and healing
Losing someone you care about can be very painful and everyone grieves differently. If you are experiencing intense pain or sadness from your loss, the bereavement team at Avow is here to guide you through the healing process.
Caring for someone with a serious illness can be very rewarding, but it can also be difficult and overwhelming. Avow is here to ease your mind and help you cope. We offer a variety of services including support groups, volunteer support and help finding resources in the community that can help you.

Support For Caregivers

We offer a variety of services including support groups, volunteer support and help finding resources in the community that can help you.

Go To Support Page