Hospice Care

When you, your loved one and a physician decide emotional and physical needs should be the focus of care, it's time to consider hospice. You may feel overwhelmed by concerns and questions about your or your loved one's comfort and quality of life. We can help.

At Lehigh Valley Health Network, we are dedicated to helping those on the final passage live their lives to the fullest in the time they have left. We provide a full range of services to allow you or your loved one peace, comfort, courage and dignity in your own home or in our hospice unit. Nurses are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Who is eligible for hospice?

People are eligible for hospice services if:

  • They have a diagnosis of a terminal illness, such as cancer, ALS, HIV, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and others.
  • A physician verifies life expectancy of six months or less.
  • They choose care focused on making themselves comfortable rather than curing their disease.

We provide hospice services to people in all settings – whether you live alone, with someone else or in a long-term care facility.

Hospice is generally covered by Medicare, Medical Assistance, HMOs and other managed care and private insurance plans. Thanks to the generosity of grateful family members and community donors, Lehigh Valley Hospice is able to care for eligible patients regardless of their ability to pay. For cancer patients, additional financial assistance may be available through cancer care financial coordination services.

We encourage you to call hospice as soon as you change your focus from cure to comfort and care. We can help organize your life, draw upon available resources and prepare for what's ahead, as well as provide relief from pain and other symptoms. Getting hospice involved early may give you more quality time with loved ones.

Services provided by Lehigh Valley Hospice

We provide physical, social, spiritual and emotional care for you and your family during the last stages of illness, the dying process and the bereavement period. We can help with pain and symptom management, nursing care, nutritional support, personal care services, light housekeeping service and more.

Hospice service includes access to:

  • A full range of bereavement services
    • Support groups – As you move along your journey towards hope and healing, being with others who are experiencing what you are provides comfort and support. Groups for varied ages and life circumstances are offered throughout the year.
    • Bereavement counseling for individuals and families – Receive emotional, psychological and spiritual support services to cope with grief, loss and adjustment. We want to ensure your family has the support and comfort they need to move forward with their lives.
    • Cancer patient and family support – We provide spiritual and emotional care for your family. Dedicated hospice chaplains provide spiritual counseling. We also offer support groups as well as individual and family counseling. Find out more about cancer counseling services.
  • Spiritual support – Hospice chaplains offer counseling and support and can serve as a liaison between your family and your faith community.
  • Home health monitoring technology – We can monitor your or your loved one's health when caregivers aren't physically present. When necessary, a home health monitoring system may help track you or your loved one's blood pressure, heart rate and temperature. This technology allows us to check the condition and comfort of you or your loved one even when a caregiver is not there.
  • Culturally respectful care – We work with many community resources to provide culturally appropriate care. We are the only hospice service in the region certified in the care of Jewish patients by the National Institute of Jewish Hospice.

Your loved one will receive hospice care from a highly qualified team of Lehigh Valley Health Network professionals, including:

  • Specially educated hospice nurses with extensive experience in dealing with end-of-life issues and educating family members how they can care for their loved ones
  • Our nurses stand out among the best in the nation. Several LVHN hospitals, and specifically Lehigh Valley Hospice, have earned Magnet® recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center – the highest honor an organization can receive for quality nursing care. This means you or your loved one's care is in the hands of nurses who have earned certifications in hospice care, seek opportunities to discover better ways to care for patients, and more.
  • Hospice aides who help with bathing and dressing and provide companionship
  • Social workers who connect you and your loved one with services such as counseling, emotional support, physical care, transportation and financial and community resources. They also help coordinate care among members of your hospice team.
  • Hospice chaplains who offer you and your loved one spiritual counseling
  • Volunteers who provide you with much-needed breaks by assisting with grocery shopping, delivering prescriptions, reading the newspaper, helping with light household tasks, or sitting and chatting with your loved one

We are certified by Medicare, licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and accredited by The Joint Commission.

Hospice care at home

We provide the highest level of hospice care where you are most comfortable, in your home.

An important part of end-of-life care for you or a loved one is comfort. If you or your loved one feels most comfortable at home, then we will ensure that's where your needs – physical, spiritual, social and emotional – are met. When faced with end-of-life decisions, it's common to experience stress, confusion and anxiety. Our goal is to help you by giving you the support and guidance you need, 24 hours a day.

Our team of specially educated health professionals includes experienced hospice nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, therapists and volunteers. They work in partnership with you, your family and your physician to develop an individualized plan of care. The plan is based entirely on your needs and desires, guided by our experience in working with families in similar situations.

Inpatient Hospice Care

When you or your loved one's symptoms cannot be managed at home, we provide hospice care at Lehigh Valley Hospital17th Street and Monroe County Hospice House. In some instances, you will be admitted to one of these facilities or a contracted facility for respite care when you need to be stabilized or get symptoms under control. If your conditions improve, you can receive care again at home.

Our physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains ensure you feel right at home. We are dedicated to managing pain and other symptoms, and provide physical, social, spiritual and emotional support to you and your family. Through an individualized plan of care, we help you and your family make the most of those final days and achieve serenity at its end.

Our hospice care in the inpatient unit includes:

  • Constant care – Our staff is available for you anytime, day or night.
  • Highly educated staff  Our hospice nurses are educated specifically to recognize and assess situations involving end-of-life care for you and your loved one.
  • Related services – You and your loved one may require further assistance, such as counseling or physical therapy. Our social workers are available to help you access these services.
  • Spiritual guidance  At your request, our hospice chaplains can provide spiritual support and guidance.
  • Private rooms – Privacy is essential to your comfort. You or your loved one will have a private room. The hospice unit is open to guests around the clock.
  • Therapeutic artwork  Local artists have donated more than 30 pieces of artwork to our hospice inpatient unit. You or your loved one can select artwork from our collection to hang in your room, creating a more personalized environment. No other hospice programs in the area offer this level of personal care.