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Frequently Asked Questions

If the goal of hospice is to allow people to remain in their homes, why do we need a hospice house?

The goal of hospice is to allow people to spend their final days comfortably in their own homes. But not all patients have caregivers who are able or available to care for them at home. Some have pain or symptoms that can't be managed effectively at home, and some do not wish to die at home. In other cases family members caring for hospice patients may need a time of respite to care for themselves and/or handle other responsibilities.

Along with these challenges, the demand for hospice services continues to increase, with the Hospice of Mercy patient census doubling in the past year alone. All of these factors have underscored the need for the kind of care that can be provided in a hospice house setting.

Who may use the Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy?

The hospice house is open to all hospice patients from any area hospice program with any type of life-limiting diagnosis.

How is care paid for?

Medicare, Medicaid and most health insurances cover some or all hospice care provided. Generous community support, memorials and contributions will be utilized so that no hospice patient will be turned away due to inability to pay. The Hospice team will assist patients and families with individual circumstances.

How long will patients stay there?

Based on the experience of other hospice houses, the average length of stay for hospice house patients will be about 17 days. Respite care patients will stay at the hospice house for five days.

What services are offered at the Hospice House?

The Hospice House is staffed 24 hours a day by an interdisciplinary team that includes physicians, nurses, social workers, home health aides, chaplains, dietitians, pharmacists, physical therapists, bereavement counselors, massage and music therapists, and trained volunteers. Each patient room affords hospital-standard access to medical equipment and supplies in a homelike environment.

Will family members be able to stay at the house with a patient?

Each patient room includes a couch that can be converted into a bed to accommodate an overnight guest, as well as a private bathroom and access to an outdoor patio.

Are there other hospice houses in the area?

The Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy is currently the only hospice house in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City area.