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Hospice Care

Excela Health Hospice at Independence Health System is one of the oldest and most experienced hospice services in Westmoreland County, is committed to providing the highest level of care to patients and families. They can relieve many of the physical, emotional and spiritual burdens associated with a life-limiting illness and provide care that meets the patient’s and family’s needs.

The end of life is a natural process. The hospice team makes every effort to preserve dignity and individuality by honoring patients’ wishes regarding care. The goal is to create a peaceful, nurturing environment, so that the time you have together is spent more comfortably, with dignity.

Hospice Services

Excela Health Hospice is Medicare certified and provided under the approval and supervision of your family physician. Care is coordinated by skilled nursing staff and may include:

  • Symptom control
  • Pain management
  • Physical support
  • Emotional, psychosocial, spiritual and practical support for the patient and family

Eligibility and Treatment

Hospice care is a choice. An individual must choose to receive this service or family members, physicians, clergy or other health care professionals can refer a patient to hospice.

To enter hospice, a certified prognosis of six months or less from a physician is required. Those using hospice services include patients with cancer, lung disease, end-stage heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other terminal diseases.

Once a referral is made, an individualized plan of care and treatment is developed based on the physician’s orders and an overall assessment by the hospice team. Patients and their families play an important role in this process. The attending physician is routinely informed of the patient’s status, and the care plan is adjusted as needed.

Patients and their families are encouraged to ask questions and participate actively in the care and treatment, particularly when assistance or reassurance is needed.

Special Hospice Programs

Some special programs offered include:

  • Massage Therapy
  • Veteran Programming
  • Art Expression Program
  • Bear Buddies
    • Teddy bears made from a loved one’s clothing items as a way to remember, hold and keep something of the loved one.
  • Hand Photos
    • Hands that comfort. Hands that care. Hands that hold. Touching photos of a patient’s hands and those they love can serve as a lasting memory.
  • Birthday Cakes
    • To celebrate a patient’s special day, volunteers deliver a home-baked cake with good wishes upon your request. It’s another way to create a lasting memory.
  • Pet Helpers
    • Have a pet who has been a steady companion? If there comes a time when you need help caring for your pet in your home so you can stay together, Pet Helpers are there to assist.
  • Treasured Memories
    • That one family story. The unique photo of generations, a military experience. A treasured family recipe. Items woven into the legacy of giving and remembering. Treasured Memories can be an audio or video remembrance of experiences to save forever.

For more information on the hospice program or additional questions about programs, referrals, services or payments, please call Excela Health Hospice at Independence Health System: 1-800-427-1400

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