Frequently Asked Questions: Hospice Unit
- Is the Unit available to me?
- Does the Unit only care for cancer patients?
- How long can I stay as an in-patient?
- Can I go out whilst I am an in-patient?
- What happens if I need to go to hospital whilst an in-patient?
- Can people visit me any time?
- Can someone close to me stay overnight?
- What personal belongings should I bring with me?
- Do I need to bring my medications with me?
- Do I have to pay to stay in the Unit?
The services of the Unit are available to patients with specialist palliative care needs living in the Mid West region.
Referral to the unit is made through your GP or Hospital Consultant or through our Day Care or Hospice at Home services. Application is made by referral forms which are available from your GP, hospital or directly from Milford. Patients are admitted to the unit based on an overall assessment of their needs (e.g. medical needs, social circumstances, support required, etc.).
The service assesses all referred patients on a basis of specialist palliative care need. This can include people with cancer, people with heart, lung, liver or kidney conditions or illnesses such as Motor Neurone Disease.
The average length of stay in the Unit is 13 days. Many people find that a relatively short period of in-patient care makes a real difference to how they are feeling and enables them to return home feeling more comfortable.
However, we are not a permanent alternative to care in your own home, a care home or nursing home. If your symptoms have been resolved but it would be difficult for you to go back to you own home, then we will help you and your family to look at and find other places where your care can be continued.
Yes. You can maintain whatever level of independence suits you and carry on doing the things you enjoy.
If you need to go to a hospital appointment and do not have a family member or friend that can accompany you, we can arrange transport and someone to go with you, if that is what you would like.
Yes. There is no restriction to visiting hours. However, we would ask that you respect the privacy of other patients, particularly in the shared bedrooms, and try to limit the number of your visitors to 2 or 3 at any one time. There are also some communal sitting areas available for visits with family and friends.
If you wish to have restricted visiting to allow you some quiet time, please speak to one of our nursing staff who will be happy to arrange this.
Children are welcome to visit but we ask that they are supervised by an adult at all times.
In most cases your pets are welcome to visit, too. Please speak to your nursing or care staff to make arrangements for this.
To avoid bringing infection into Milford, we kindly ask that people to not visit if they are suffering from colds, flu or any infection. Please speak to one of our nursing staff if you have any questions regarding this.
Yes. There is a limited number of family stay over rooms within Milford that must be requested and are offered on a first come first served basis.
A list of Bed and Breakfast accommodation in the immediate area is available on request.
You should bring your slippers, dressing gown, night clothes, day clothes, personal toiletry items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc. If possible, arrangements should be made to launder your personal clothing at home. However, if this is not possible, laundry services in Milford can be availed of, but all clothing should be clearly marked.
Whenever possible, we ask that you leave your valuables at home. We cannot accept liability for any loss or damage to your personal property unless it has been handed over for safekeeping.
Yes. Please bring all your medicines with you including any dosette boxes and anything that you have bought over the counter that you are currently taking such as inhalers, eye drops, creams and herbal or vitamin preparations. If you forget your medicines this is not a problem but it would be helpful if you could give permission for a friend or relative to collect them and bring them in. One of the nurses or pharmacy staff will check through your medicines with you so we know what you are taking. It helps us if you can keep your medicines in their original containers and make sure we know about everything you are taking.
Wherever possible we will continue to use your own medicines. They will still belong to you, so we will ask your permission to do so. We will advise you to dispose of any medicines that are:
- No longer used for your treatment
- Out of date or may not have been stored properly
- Are not clearly identifiable
Your medicines will be locked in your bedside cabinet and one of our in-patient nurses will give you your medicines from this locker. Medicines that you do not have with you, or that have been prescribed during your stay, will be supplied by our pharmacy. When you go home a fresh supply of medicines will be given to last you a few days. If you would like to take your own medicines back home, please talk to one of the in-patient nurses or pharmacy team.
If you are planning to go out for the day, or for a couple of days, please talk to one of the in-patient nurses or pharmacy team in advance so they can make sure you have the medicines you need. It’s helpful if you bring these back with you when you return to the Unit.
No. Admission to the Unit is free. No. There is no charge to patients for any of the Specialist Palliative Care services provided by Milford Care Centre. The services are funded by the HSE and through generous support of the community to our Fundraising Department. The Unit is approved for Private Healthcare Insurance, if relevant.