The Connecticut Hospice is a licensed inpatient hospital, providing inpatient hospice and palliative care, as well as hospice and palliative home care services. Additionally, The Connecticut Hospice offers in-hospital respite care for a limited amount of time. Medical, nursing care, social work, pastoral care, expressive arts therapies, dietary consults, reiki, bereavement and volunteer services are available in both inpatient and home-care settings. Volunteer drivers may also be available to assist with rides to our inpatient facility, if needed.
In order to be eligible for hospice care, a person must have a terminal illness (i.e., an illness that cannot be cured by medical intervention) and a prognosis of six months or less. In order to be admitted to inpatient hospice care, a person must also have symptoms that cannot be safely managed in another setting.
The length of stay varies, depending on the needs and symptoms of the patient, and other than respite care, there is no set time for discharge from our inpatient facility, except as national hospice regulations require.
For patients with stable conditions, with no new symptoms or changes in treatment needs, the health care team will discuss with the patient and family where the patient may be served more appropriately. Those patients are discharged either to home or to another facility. Most times, Hospice Home Care will continue to follow these patients at home or, if The Connecticut Hospice has a contract with the other facility, in that facility. If, at any point, the patient develops more symptoms, he/she may be readmitted to the hospice facility for symptom control or terminal care.
Patients continuing to exhibit symptoms and the need for intensive medical and nursing care may remain at The Connecticut Hospice inpatient hospital.
There are no set visiting hours at The Connecticut Hospice; friends and family may visit patients 24/7, 365 days a year. Visitors are required to sign in at the front desk and may proceed to the second floor to visit their loved one. In the evening and overnight, family and visitors are asked to respect quiet hours so that our patients may be able to sleep without being disturbed.
A nurse or other health care provider in the patient’s interdisciplinary team can place a request for one or more of our comprehensive services.
For people who have Medicare, the Medicare Hospice Benefit (part of Medicare A) pays 100% for hospice services. For those who have private insurance, hospice representatives contact the insurance company and set up a contract for care. Click for more information on paying for care.
Well-behaved dogs are allowed to visit their family members at The Connecticut Hospice, but must be on leashes and not allowed to roam free. Visiting pets are not allowed in any infection control/isolation rooms. All visiting pets must send proof of all vaccinations before their first visit. Family members interested in bringing a pet to visit should talk to their nurse ahead of time to make arrangements for a pet visit. The Connecticut Hospice has volunteers who bring trained therapy dogs in for patients to enjoy.
There is no age limitation for visitors. Children must be supervised and remain respectful of other patients’ rights. The Arts Department may be able to provide arts-related activities for the children while other family members are visiting loved ones. This is best arranged in advance through the patient’s nurse.
Many medications are continued once someone becomes a hospice patient. Changes in medications occur when the patient’s condition requires different medications (e.g., a patient has more pain or is unable to swallow pills). In both cases, different medications may be prescribed and other medications discontinued. Hospice clinicians consult with the patient and his/her family when medication changes need to be made.
The Connecticut Hospice (TCH) clinicians have specialized training in hospice and palliative care and, therefore, are patients’ primary providers at our inpatient facility. Home care patients are managed by their own physicians, but hospice clinicians are available to make home visits and suggest treatments and interventions. TCH clinicians do consult with patients’ community physicians to determine extent of illness, treatments and interventions already trialed, and any further appropriate treatment planned.