Learn the Truth…
There are many negative misconceptions and connotations that can make the concept of hospice a scary choice and a somewhat difficult subject to discuss. You may have heard that hospice means “giving up” or that there is “no hope.” In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Choosing hospice is a positive approach to staying in control of your life.
Hospice embraces a united team philosophy in order to provide comfort, care and support to terminally ill patients and their families. Our program of care is medically directed and our interdisciplinary team of professional care givers focus on delivering medical, spiritual, emotional, psychosocial, volunteer and bereavement support.
Here are the FACTS about hospice:
Hospice isn’t a place and patients don’t “go into hospice.” We provide care and support wherever our patients consider their home to be. Our patients are cared for in their own homes, in senior living communities, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities as well as residential board and care housing.
There is always HOPE in HOsPicE – it’s even in the word! Choosing hospice care gives you an opportunity to ensure you control your life while you face this challenging time. Having comfort and care while managing pain allows patients and their families to spend the remaining time together in peace and dignity. Hospice is not about giving up, but rather about making more meaningful moments happen.
When a referral to hospice is made early, patients can begin to experience its many benefits. Research shows that hospice patients actually live longer and with better quality of life than those who did not receive hospice care.
To qualify for hospice, patients must meet certain medical guidelines depending on their particular diagnosis. As long as it is appropriate at the time of care, we encourage patients to be as physically independent for as long as possible.
You can chose to have your personal doctor be a part of the hospice team. While our hospice physicians have extensive experience in end-of-life care, they are happy to work closely with a patient’s personal doctor to ensure that the best care can be provided.
We proudly serve patients of all ages who have a variety of life-limiting diseases or conditions. These diagnoses include but are not limited to:
- Alzheimer’s / Advanced Dementia
- Heart Disease / CHF
- HIV / AIDS
- Liver Disease
- Neurologic Diseases incl. Parkinson’s, ALS or MS
- Pulmonary Diseases / COPD
- Renal Disease
- Stroke / Coma
Any individual that is eligible for standard Medicare (Part A) receives hospice benefits. Hospice is paid for by the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medicaid and private insurance. Since most private insurance coverage varies, it’s best to check with your carrier to verify your level of coverage for these services. Find out more about hospice benefits and costs. [anchor/link to “Who pays for hospice?” section.]
Families are highly encouraged to participate in the patient’s hospice plan of care. As an important component of the interdisciplinary team, your family members can help in whatever manner they feel comfortable. By participating in the end-of-life
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about hospice. Hospice neither prolongs life or speeds up death. Our goal is to provide the best care we can for the patient so that they can live out their remaining days in comfort, dignity and peace. The patient’s terminal diagnosis is allowed to progress to its natural conclusion while managing pain and discomfort associated with their disease.
At its core, hospice is about giving the patient control over their remaining time. Interdisciplinary teams include a chaplain and other spiritual counselors from all faiths or no faith at all, to provide non-judgmental spiritual support to patients and their families. Hospice is there to listen, offer counseling when requested or just lend a friendly shoulder to lean when times get tough.
When a patient’s prognosis for advanced or serious illness is deemed terminal and curative treatments are no longer an option, hospice turns the focus of care from “Cure” to “Comfort.” The hospice team works in tandem with the patient and their family implement a plan of care that will manage pain, reduce anxiety as well as provide emotional, spiritual, educational and psychosocial support.
Generally, hospice is appropriate for patients who are in the last six months of their life. However, it’s important to understand that hospice provides services as needed as long as the eligibility criteria remains valid. Medicare coverage provides for a total of 210 days but if the patient continues to require hospice services and their eligible medical status continues to decline an additional benefit period of unlimited days is available.
Actually, anyone including a family member, caregiver, friend or healthcare provider can refer a patient, including the patient themselves. Once the referral is made, Reliable Hospice will contact the physician to determine if the patient is medically appropriate and if so, will secure a doctor’s order for hospice. There is no need to do more. We’ll take care of the paperwork and getting the plan of care set-up and the patient comfortable.
Do you have more questions regarding Hospice and what it covers? Not sure whether hospice is appropriate for you or your loved one? We’re here to answer any of your questions and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.