520 North Third Ave Sandpoint, ID 83864

 (208) 263-1441

Choosing the right Hospice for me and my Family.

Provided by Bonner General Community Hospice

Interviewing Hospice providers is important to ensure you choose the best provider to meet your needs. While all Hospices are required to offer the same basic services, some perform those services differently, and some choose to provide additional services and/or support. Some questions you might consider asking when researching which Hospice is the right fit for you may include:

What do others say about your Hospice?

  • Get references from people you know and those in the field – for example, local hospitals, nursing homes, and clinicians.
  • Review Hospice Compare to see how the Hospice Providers in your area are rated by the families of those they have served: https://www.medicare.gov/carecompare/?redirect=true&providerType=Hospice

What sets this Hospice apart from others serving this area?

  • Bonner Community Hospice is your ONLY local Non-profit Hospice. We do not answer to shareholders; instead, we answer to our community. Bonner Community Hospice prioritizes our patients’ and their families’ needs as the focus of our care. We do not base care decisions on financial impact. We chose to offer additional services and support our patients, their families, and our community in many ways.

How long has the Hospice been in operation?

  • Bonner Community Hospice began as a complete volunteer organization serving Bonner and Boundary Counties in the early 1980’s. Under Bonner General Health’s support, the two county organizations united and became formally certified Medicare Hospice providers in 1991.

Are there limits on treatment, equipment, or services I currently receive or wish to receive?

  • Each individual’s circumstance is unique, and what is most important to you and your family varies. It’s essential to ask about any treatment, care, medication, or equipment necessary to you and if it is something the Hospice you are considering can provide.

Can the Hospice meet your specific needs?

  • As you consider your healthcare needs and journey, consider what is most important to you and your loved ones. Do you have any worries or concerns? If so, ask the Hospice provider how they will support these needs.

Does the Hospice offer extra services or support beyond those ‘required’?

  • As our Community’s only non-profit Hospice, we pride ourselves on giving back to our community. We provide events to remember loved ones, education, 1:1 support, and groups to support our community. Due to our Volunteer roots, our volunteer program is very strong, and the services and support provided are extensive. Our volunteers provide meaningful support in many ways.
  • Bonner Community Hospice holds fundraisers and accepts donations to ensure we meet our community’s needs in unique ways. This funding and our commitment to pour back into our community allow us to provide supportive services, care, and items that are not generally provided under traditional Hospice benefits.

When I call for support after hours, who answers the phone?

  • At Bonner Community Hospice, meeting your and your family’s needs right away is crucial. One of our experienced registered nurses will answer your call after hours. Unlike other providers, we do not employ an outside service to field calls and direct care.

How rapid is your Hospice’s crisis response? What happens if my family needs someone to come to our home in the middle of the night or on the weekend? Where would that person come from?

  • Our nurses live within the area we serve, and after hours, they respond from their homes. Our staff does not respond from another county or state. When you call, your phone call will be answered right away. If you or your loved one require an on-site visit anytime, day or night, our team responds readily. While our geography here in North Idaho can require some navigation, and we may experience inclement weather, you can rest assured your needs will be readily managed.

How does the Hospice prepare loved ones for death if there is not a member of the hospice team in the home?

  • Our team provides extensive education and support to ensure that our patients and their care team are prepared for possible symptoms and issues that may arise along their journey and what to expect as the individual receiving Hospice care approaches death. Our team is available 24/7 to help guide you and your care team every step of the way.

What options are available for inpatient care in the uncommon instance that symptoms are not managed at home?

  • Our Hospice team partners closely with the medical staff at Bonner General Health Hospital and Boundary Community Hospital. In the rare instance that symptoms cannot be managed at home, you may be admitted to the Hospital nearest your home to receive the support you need. Our expert Hospice team will visit daily (and more often if needed) to ensure your needs are fully met.

How are patient/family concerns handled?

  • If there is any concern, it is addressed immediately. Our patients and families have direct access to and are encouraged to contact the Hospice manager with any concerns. Bonner Community Hospice is the only Hospice Provider in North Idaho with a 5-STAR rating from our patients’ families.

What kind of bereavement services does the hospice offer?

  • This is a significant benefit for your loved ones. Types of grief support can vary widely from Hospice provider to Hospice provider. Bonner Community Hospice offers comprehensive Bereavement support, including 1:1 support, groups, educational offerings, formal courses, and supportive events to remember our loved ones.

Kathy Hubbard is a member of the Bonner General Health Foundation Advisory Council. She can be reached at kathyleehubbard@yahoo.com. This article was written for publication in the Bonner County Daily Bee on May 29, 2024.

Contact Us:

Bonner General Community Hospice

520 N. Third Ave, Sandpoint, ID 83864

(208) 265-1179 Hospice main line

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To make a payment please call our office at 208-265-1158, mail your payment to: PO Box 1343 Sandpoint, ID 83864, or come by the office at 423 N Third Ste 225.