The primary focus of UNC Medical Center’s Hospice Care services is to provide support and compassionate care for patients in the last phases of terminal illness. We strive to ensure all patients have the opportunity to live fully and comfortably.
UNC Hospice is licensed by Medicare and Medicaid, and is a covered benefit by most private insurance carriers. Services offered by UNC Hospice are provided regardless of diagnosis, age, race, religion, gender preference or ability to pay. In addition, the agency is accredited by The Joint Commission, and is a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence.
Who Is Eligible for Hospice Care?
Hospice care is available to any person with a life limiting illness if:
- A patient’s physician feels that he or she has six months or less to live if the illness runs its normal course.
- A patient, family and physician are no longer seeking a cure with aggressive medical treatments.
- A patient and family are informed about hospice services and consent in writing to hospice care. We try to assure that patients and families understand hospice philosophy and approach to care and are freely choosing it.
It is recommended that patients and their families begin to discuss hospice care when they decide to no longer pursue aggressive medical treatments. Many patients are enrolled when a cure for their disease is no longer possible and they are informed by their physician that they have six months to live.
Unfortunately, many patients enter our program too late to receive the full benefit of hospice care and we often hear from families, “I wish we’d entered the hospice program sooner.”
Where We Provide Care
UNC Hospice provides care to patients in Alamance, Chatham, Durham, Lee, Orange, and Wake counties. The SECU Jim & Betsy Bryan Hospice Home receives patients from any location for inpatient treatment.
Most of our patients receive services in their private residences, but, we also serve patients in nursing facilities with which we have contracts, adult care homes and assisted living facilities. When care in the home is not possible due to medical needs or caregiving challenges, our hospice home provides inpatient care to our patients and families.
- Registered nurses provide nursing care as needed, including 24 hour, 365 days a year on-call access.
- Medical social workers offer emotional support, help assess needs, make community service referrals and assist with financial concerns.
- Certified nursing assistants provide assistance with personal care.
- Chaplaincy services offer spiritual support, if requested.
- Trained patient/family volunteers provide support meeting a broad range of needs.
- Bereavement care is available to families and anyone in the community following the loss of a loved one.
- Medications, medical supplies and equipment related to the terminal illness.
- Physical, occupational, speech therapy and dietary counseling as needed.
Hospice works closely with patients’ primary doctors to ensure patients get appropriate care. Our Hospice Medical Director is also available to our staff for consultation.