Deciding On Hospice

When and who do I ask about hospice?

Anytime is a good time to discuss care options.
You don’t have to wait for your physician or hospital to raise the possibility of hospice you can raise it first.
Our staff is available to answer any questions you may have.
A consultation can be arranged by calling our office.

 

How does the admission process work?

It’s Simple! We contact the patient’s physician to make sure he or she agrees that hospice care is appropriate for this patient at this time.

The patient is asked to sign consent and insurance forms.

 

How can family and friends get involved?

Any number of family or friends can be involved. It is never easy and sometimes can be quite difficult. Individualized care plans are prepared that address the amount of caregiving a person needs. Care needs are based on the individual’s level of function.

Hospice staff visits regularly and is always accessible to answer questions and provide support Though family and friends must be relied on to give custodial care (ongoing physical care), volunteers are provided to help with errands and provide a break and time away for primary caregivers. It may not be necessary for someone to be with the patient at all times. Later, however, hospice generally recommends someone be there continuously since one of the most common fears of patients is the fear of dying alone.

Hospices have staff available to consult with the family and to make night visits as appropriate. Respite Care can be arranged to give family members a break.

 

How do I prepare to enroll in hospice care?

Be familiar with legal documents before and after you decide to use hospice care, some of these documents require legal counsel.

Know your rights as a patient Medical Durable Power of Attorney (MDPOA) states that if you become incapacitated this signed document gives authority to an adult at least 18 years of age to make necessary medical and health care decisions for you. Complete a Living Will

 

What specific assistance does hospice provide?

Hospice patients are cared for by a team, which consists of doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, home health aides, clergy, therapists, and volunteers. Hospices help provide medications, supplies, equipment, hospital services and additional helpers in the home as appropriate.

Hospice does not provide 24-hour care in the home unless there is a crisis which constitutes temporary around-the-clock care. Most hospice services are delivered in a personal residence, but some patients do live in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, hospitals or hospice centers.

 

How does hospice manage pain?

Hospice nurses and doctors are up to date on the latest medications and devices for pain and symptom relief. Counselors, including clergy, are available to assist family members as well as patients. By using some combination of medications, counseling and therapies, most patients can attain a level of comfort that is acceptable to them.

It is the goal of hospice to help patients be as comfortable and alert as they desire.

 

How does hospice help the family after a patient dies?

Hospice provides continuing contact and support for family and friends for at least one year following the death of a loved one.

Some hospices also sponsor bereavement and support groups for anyone in the community who has experienced the death of a family member, a friend or a loved one.

 

Is hospice care covered through insurance?

The first thing hospice will do is assist families in finding out whether the patient is eligible for any coverage they may not be aware of.

Most hospices will provide care for those who cannot pay, using money raised from the community or from memorial or foundation gifts.

 

Are there additional expenses?

Medicare covers all services and supplies related to the terminal illness for the hospice patient.

In some hospices, the patient may be required to pay a 5 percent or $5 “co-payment” on medication and a 5 percent co-payment for respite care. You should find out about any co-payment when choosing a hospice.