Hospice Services in Greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Hospice care encompasses more than you might think and could be the answer to your loved one’s next stage of life. Founded in 1900, St. Barnabas Health System has had one simple mission — providing institutional and individual services that support the education, social, and health needs of others.
That’s why we offer compassionate hospice care services throughout the Greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, including Allegheny, Beaver, and Butler Counties. Our team is standing by to meet every patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs while offering resources and support to families as they navigate this challenging time.
Myths vs. Facts about Hospice
There are many common misconceptions about hospice that may prevent families from pursuing this viable care option for their loved ones. To help you decide whether hospice is the right fit, consider the following myths debunked by St. Barnabas:
Myth: Hospice is elected when patients are about to pass away.
Fact: Hospice is not a physical location. Instead, it comprises a host of services that can be administered at any of the following locations:
- The patient’s home
- An assisted living community
- A skilled medical center
- In a hospital if necessary
Myth: All treatments cease when hospice care begins.
Fact: Treatment doesn’t end with hospice. In this type of care, we shift the focus from curative modalities to treatments that aim to enhance the patient’s quality of life. For example, these include symptom and pain management with non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions.
Myth: Only cancer patients need hospice care.
Fact: False. Anyone with a life-limiting illness is welcome to pursue hospice care.
Myth: Patients only have days to weeks to live when they are admitted to hospice.
Fact: Intended for patients with a prognosis of six months or less, assuming their illnesses run their normal course, hospice care does not hasten or prolong death. Rather, the earlier hospice is elected, the more benefits patients and their loved ones receive, and fortunately, many patients live beyond this six-month window through our services.
Myth: By choosing hospice, families are giving up hope.
Fact: This is simply not true. Hospice care promotes quality of life and comfort for the patient, and data even shows that many individuals live longer than they would without hospice. What’s more, some patients improve while under hospice care and are able to be discharged at a later date. No matter the case, St. Barnabas prepares care plans while encouraging hope along the way, especially when the illness has no cure.
Myth: There is no turning back after electing hospice care.
Fact: Hospice can be revoked by patients or their families at any time. This happens most in situations where curative treatments can be resumed. Hospice can also be re-elected at any time.
What Hospice Care Offers
Led by our medical director, St. Barnabas’ team of physicians, nurses, certified home health aides, social workers, spiritual and grief counselors, and trained volunteers collaborate closely to ensure patients are as comfortable as possible. Involving patients and families in every decision, our team prioritizes strong internal communication to keep all on-call nurses and personnel current with each patient’s latest information, as well as keeping families updated about their loved one’s condition.
Whether offered in the home or at a more advanced medical center, St. Barnabas provides a wide range of hospice care services, including:
- 24/7 on-call nursing for fast responses to changing patient conditions
- Homemaking and hospice aide assistance
- Medical equipment and supply assistance
- Medication administration
- Nutritional advice
- Pain and symptom management
- Physician services
- Respite care
- Speech, occupational, and physical therapy
- Spiritual and bereavement counseling (view family testimonials)
- Volunteer services
- And more…
Information About Referrals And Our Hospice Speaker Series
St. Barnabas accepts hospice referrals from physicians, other health care professionals, clergy, patients, family, friends, social workers, caseworkers, and health care agencies, with our services available throughout the Greater Pittsburgh area. To make a referral, contact our hospice office at 724-444-5541. The earlier a referral is made, the sooner the patient and their family can benefit from our services and specialized care.
St. Barnabas also offers our Hospice Speaker Series, which presents selected topics for small church groups, health and wellness ministries, grief and bereavement support groups, social and fraternal groups, and more. Topics include the following:
- Hospice and Psalm 23: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
- Hospice: Fact and Fiction
- What Volunteers Do, and Could Hospice Be Your Ministry
- Other presentations catered to your needs
For more information about hospice care at St. Barnabas, contact us today.
Become a Hospice Volunteer
Would you like to make a difference in the lives of terminally ill patients and their loved ones? Become a hospice volunteer at St. Barnabas and provide much-needed services such as running errands, light housekeeping, friendly visits, and clerical office support. We offer free training to introduce volunteers to St. Barnabas and our hospice care services, as well as how to relate to dementia patients, understand dying, grief, and bereavement, and so much more. To learn more about what to expect as a St. Barnabas hospice volunteer, view our volunteer testimonials or contact our Volunteer Coordinator.