What is Hospice? 

Hospice focuses on caring and comfort, not cure, and is offered to adults, children and infants with life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, AIDS, advanced heart and lung disease, kidney disease, liver disease and neurological disorders such as Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's disease.

Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island, the second-oldest hospice in the nation and the largest and most experienced hospice agency in the state, provides quality, compassionate health care to people facing the advanced stages of serious illnesses.

We support patients - regardless of their ability to pay - in their homes, nursing homes, hospitals, assisted-living facilities and at the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence, RI. Our hospice services are available by telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What Does Hospice Provide?

  • Physician services for the medical direction of the patient's care
  • Regular visits by nurses
  • Hospice aide services for personal care, such as dressing and bathing
  • Social work services
  • Spiritual care
  • Grief counseling
  • Volunteer support to provide companionship to the patient and help for family members
  • Short-term inpatient and respite care
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech/language services
  • Medical supplies, such as catheters and bandages
  • Medical equipment, such as hospital beds and wheelchairs
  • Delivery of medications, medical supplies and equipment
  • Medications for pain relief and symptom management

Where is Hospice Provided?

Hope Hospice RI provides hospice care in patients' homes, in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, hospitals and at the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center, in Providence, RI.

Hospice in the Home

A garden trail. A patient at home with controlled symptoms, which could include severe pain, continuous nausea and vomiting, bleeding, acute respiratory distress, and unbearable restlessness or agitation, has access to the following services:

  • Visits by a registered nurse
  • Visits by a social worker
  • Visits by a chaplain
  • Hospice aide services
  • Visits by a grief counselor
  • Visits by trained volunteers
  • Medications and supplies
  • Medical equipment 

The needs of the patient determine the number of visits from hospice staff members. These needs are established and outlined in a plan of care formed by the hospice team and the patient's physician. The care plan serves as a guideline to assist all those serving the patient with care. The patient also has access to an on-call hospice nurse 24 hours a day.

Continuous Nursing Care

A patient would receive continuous nursing care if he or she has symptoms that are out of control and he or she chooses to stay at home. This is similar to inpatient care, except the patient remains in his or her home instead of being placed in a facility. A hospice nurse is required to provide continuous around-the-clock nursing care if the symptoms cannot be controlled while on routine hospice care in the home.

Respite Care

A patient whose symptoms are controlled may be moved to respite care when the caregiver needs a break. Many hospice patients live at home, with their family providing most of the care, sometimes around the clock.
Caring for their loved one can be exhausting and stressful. The family members and/or caregivers need time to themselves and it's important that they take that time.

Respite care allows a patient to be temporarily placed in a facility with 24-hour care so the family can rest. If the patient is willing and the family requests it, hospice must provide placement in a facility or a hospice home for the patient. The patient will be taken to the facility, and according to Medicare regulations, can stay for up to five days before being taken back home.

Hospice in Nursing Homes

Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island contracts with most of the nursing homes in Rhode Island. Members of the Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island team regularly visit those facilities to coordinate care and support the clinical efforts. However, Hope Hospice RI can be called to assist at any nursing home or assisted-living facility.

The Philip Hulitar Hospice Center

Philip Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence, RI, is the only inpatient hospice facility in the state. It has 24 beds; offers privacy, comfort and dignity in a safe, homelike environment for individuals who need intense symptom management and pain control. It is for short-term stays, sometimes as a transition between leaving the hospital and going home, and offers an alternative setting for patients to remain comfortable during their final days. 

Hospice in Hospitals

A hospice patient may require inpatient care when his or her symptoms have gotten out of hand and can no longer be managed at home. When these symptoms cannot be controlled with routine home care, then the patient requires extra attention until these symptoms subside.

Hospices work to control the symptoms and make the patient comfortable. In order to do this, the patient may be temporarily placed in the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center or an acute care hospital. At this level of care, an assessment of what’s happening and what needs to be done takes place. The hospice team and the patient’s physician work together to ensure the patient obtains and maintains a tolerable comfort level. Once this has been achieved, the patient will return home and back to routine home care.

Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island also helps patients while transitioning from the hospital to another setting. Oftentimes, a hospital social worker or discharge planner will call Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island on a patient's behalf.

Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island has relationships with 10 area hospitals, including Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital, Newport Hospital and South County Hospital, Roger Williams Medical Center, Our Lady of Fatima Hospital, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Kent Hospital and The Westerly Hospital.