Frequently Asked Questions

Below is some more information about hospice and what we do as an organization. If you don't find clarity in the answers you are looking for, please contact us so that we can help clarify any questions or concerns you may have.

How is GHOMC different from other hospices?

Grace is a local, “no-profit” organization, serving the community of Missoula, at no cost. We do not accept payment for services, nor do we bill for any services we provide. No cost, just Grace.

How do I know when it’s time for hospice? Who decides?

Grace encourages ongoing conversation about your illness, wishes and goals of care, with your family and your medical team. By sharing your thoughts, concerns and feelings, while you are able, you allow your team (including your family), the ability to navigate your journey with confidence and without doubt or regret. It is a gift to know, and make known, how you wish to live. The sooner a patient enters a hospice program, there is greater opportunity to build relationship and trust with your hospice team. Time will allow for greater emotional and spiritual support and may enhance your experience and result in greater peace.

 

If you or your loved one have been diagnosed with a terminal or life-limiting illness, your physician may recommend hospice. The decision to enter a hospice program belongs to you.

How is a person admitted to GHOMC?

On referral from your physician, a GHOMC nurse performs an assessment to confirm that you are hospice appropriate and that we are able to meet your needs in your home. On confirmation that you are appropriate for hospice, we are able to meet your needs in your home and, most importantly, you wish to be admitted to Grace, the nurse will complete admission paperwork. On completion of paperwork, you are immediately under the care of the hospice team.

Should I wait for my physician to offer hospice or should I ask first?

You may speak to your physician about hospice, at any time. Open conversation with healthcare professionals, family, friends and clergy, are highly recommended and encouraged and often result in valuable support.

What if my physician isn’t familiar with Grace Hospice?

Many of the physicians in Missoula County are familiar with and have established relationships with multiple hospice programs in our community. Physicians wishing to learn more about Grace are encouraged to contact Grace at (406) 330-2031 or use the contact form on our site.

 

Can I reside in assisted living and receive hospice care from Grace?

Yes. GHOMC will provide care in your home, assisted living facility and continue to provide support if you are admitted to the hospital.

What specific support does Grace provide patients?

While most other hospice teams include a team of doctors, social workers, nurses and volunteers, GHOMC does not have a physician on staff. GHOMC patients remain under the care of their primary physician. Grace provides nursing care, aromatherapy, respite volunteers, chaplain volunteers, social worker volunteers and supportive services including pet therapy, music therapy and massage therapy. We offer links to national supportive resources and those available in our local community. Depending on stock, Grace also provides supplies, equipment and additional helpers in the home, as needed.

Does hospice mean “It’s over. I’m giving up?”

No. Often times, when hospice treats the symptoms that are causing stress on the body, with medication or other intervention, that stressor is mitigated, reduced or managed. The reduction of stress, improves the quality of life. Sometimes, not always, the mitigation of symptoms, can result in longevity. But each disease, and experience, is unique, just as you are.

What if I get better? Do I have to leave GHOMC’s care?

If a patient experiences cure and is no longer terminal, they may be discharged from GHOMC. Graduation by means of cure or remarkable improvement is to be celebrated! If your disease returns or relapses, you may be re-admitted, if you choose.

 

How does GHOMC manage pain?

GHOMC nurses work hand-in-hand with your physician to relieve your pain with medications and devices. GHOMC has pre-signed orders from your physician that allow us to initiate medication immediately. We do not make any changes to your medications, start or stop, increase or decrease, without your consent and approval. GHOMC’s nurses have a wealth of experience, knowledge, expertise and compassion. It is our common goal to manage all symptoms that may result in decreased quality of your life.

Does GHOMC provide support after a patient passes away?

Grace provides contact and support to family and friends for a period of 13 months. Grace assists in establishing contact for bereavement sessions and grief support resources nationally and locally, to all who have experienced loss in our community. Additional links are available on GHOMC website.

Is hospice for only the elderly?

Unfortunately, no. The majority of hospice patients are older, however, disease is not exclusive to any particular age group. Grace provides care to patients of all ages, including children.

Is GHOMC affiliated with a particular faith?

Grace is available to any and all, regardless of belief.

Does GHOMC accept support from volunteers who don’t wish to have patient contact?

Absolutely! We would LOVE to receive your support! You can volunteer with clerical work, donor recognition, public speaking, grant writing, grief support, etc. Each of us, is equipped with a gift. Let us know how we can support you and your gift, as you support Grace, her patients and volunteers.

Do I have to have a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order to receive GHOMC services?

Though it may be difficult, an open, honest conversation with your physician and/or hospice team, is encouraged. This piece of end of life, gives voice to your wishes, but a DNR is not required for admission to Grace.

 

Is hospice right for me?

Hospice is a personal choice, and only you can decide what’s best for you.

Grace has found that when we come to terms with our own terminality, that’s when we truly begin to live. All the things that seemed so important, are no longer important. Perspectives change. We say what we need to say, give opportunity to hear what someone needs to speak. We choose to live with purpose, on purpose. There can be such beauty in the midst of what many fear most. But it is a choice, your choice, how you live in the time remaining.

Does GHOMC hasten death?

No. Grace does not offer assistance with hastening of death