Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is “hospice” and “palliative” care?
Hospice care, which is a specialized form of palliative care, is designed to support those in the last stages of a terminal illness. It seeks to allow those with a terminal illness to be pain-free, so they may spend their last days with dignity. Palliative care, which can be appropriate at any stage of an illness, is a special, holistic approach to health care that goes beyond the physical well-being of the resident, attending to their spiritual, emotional and psychological needs as well.

2. What is “comfort care” at Hart Comfort House?
Hart Comfort House’s comfort care is a comprehensive and compassionate two-bed home for the dying. It is a true home-like atmosphere, not a health care facility or a hospital. We ascribe to the hospice philosophy of care that states that all persons have the right to die with dignity, to have enhanced quality of life, and to be as comfortable as possible. Our primary goal is to provide comfort care, symptom control and pain management for our residents, as well as to be a source of respite care for the families. Hands-on resident care is provided around the clock, along with meals, laundry, companionship, as well as emotional, social and spiritual support through volunteers, nurses and social workers. The resident’s primary care physician may continue to provide for his or her patient, or one of our medical directors may assume this role. Another main goal is to give the resident’s family and friends the needed support through the bereavement process.

3. Is it for Allegany County residents only?
No, Hart Comfort House is not for Allegany County residents only, though priority may be given to Allegany County area residents due to the lack of nearby alternative comfort care.

4. Who is eligible?
Admission to Hart Comfort House is based on an assessment of those who have the greatest need and the fewest options. A physician must have determined that the person has a terminal illness and is in their last three months of life. Physicians, social workers, hospital personnel, family members, local hospice agencies, clergy or the terminally ill person themselves may contact our executive director to arrange an admission interview.

5. How is Hart Comfort House funded?
The services are provided free-of-charge to our home’s residents. Because we are an independent, not-for-profit organization, money to run Hart Comfort House is generated entirely through community support, donations and grants. Our annual operating expenses must be covered by monies received from memorials, honorary donations, bequests, donations from people, corporations, service organizations, plus grants and fund-raising events.

6. Do you receive help from the government?
We do not receive any financial funding from the government or from insurance companies. We will partner with the local home-care hospice or other agencies and hospitals to aid in resident care, medication, medical supply costs, and advisory support through social work, nursing and bereavement support.

7. Are volunteer opportunities available?
Yes! We could not operate without volunteers. There are many volunteer roles, so please think about your personal strengths and consider how you might use those strengths to help this cause.

The greatest need is for Resident Care volunteers. You will receive complete, no-cost training, helping you to feel comfortable and confident. However, if you would prefer to help in a different way, there are other opportunities available. Click to read more about our volunteers!

If you wish to help, please call 596-1045 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.