Where can hospice care be provided?
Hospice care is provided wherever the patient calls home whether it be in a private residence, skilled nursing facility, assistance living community or a rest home.
May the patient’s primary care physician continue to care for the patient?
Yes. Hospice encourages patients to continue their relationships with their primary care physician.
How is hospice paid for?
Hospice related services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, HMO’s or private insurance agencies. These services include visits from hospice team members, medications related to hospice diagnosis, medical equipment, and bereavement services. We are entitled to this health care benefit to which we have contributed.
When should hospice care begin?
The decision to engage hospice should be made as early as possible when the focus of care shifts from curative to palliative or comfort care. Approval from a physician is necessary to determine if the illness were to take its “natural course”, the patient would have six months or less to live.
Why should you consider hospice care?
- Comfort, pain and symptom management for the patient.
- Support and assistance for family members and loved ones.
- Relief from handling many of the details of our day-to day care while maintaining control over our decisions.
- Security in knowing patient and family needs will be met.
- Help available 24-hours a day from an experienced well trained staff.
- You are entitled to this health care benefit to which you have contributed.
- Ongoing bereavement support for family members following the death of the patient.
Does hospice hasten death?
Hospice does not hasten death. In fact, studies have shown that people on hospice live longer due to pain/symptom management, emotional/spiritual support and an overall improved quality of life.
Will my loved one be put on strong, sedating medications once admitted to hospice?
Medications are only recommended if your loved one presents with distress which might be reduced by certain medications. Once prescribed the smallest dose is recommended to achieve the greatest comfort and level of alertness. These recommendations are discussed with the patient, their loved ones and the physician before implementing a decision.