The decision to start hospice and trying to choose the right hospice is not an easy task. For many, there is an overwhelming sense of sadness when this decision is made. However, most people soon realize what a tremendous help hospice can be to a patient and family members.
The importance of choosing a suitable hospice is critical for you and your family. Many physicians will make recommendations for hospices and most hospitals and insurances groups operate their own divisions of hospice. You have the right to choose any hospice you want, and your doctor must respect that right.
Commonly Asked Questions:
- What is hospice?
- Are all hospices the same?
- How do I decide what is right for me?
- Who pays for the service?
Hospice is a compassionate service for those with a life-limiting disease or illness. The focus is comforting, not curing, the patient through pain management, medical care, and emotional and spiritual support based on the patient's wishes and needs. The patient's loved ones will also receive support from these services.
If you are looking for the best hospice for you, ask the nurses and doctors within your care team and at the potential companies you are reviewing what services would be provided for your specific needs. You need to make sure that you are asking these questions so that your treatment and the support you and loved ones will need is a good fit for you. The care that you receive should be tailored to you and your needs. If an individual service cannot provide this, then it is not the right choice for you.
Talking to local aging services, hospital staff, and charities can also assist you with your search to find the right company. No one should force you into a decision; they should only offer advice.
In the midst of your research, contact several different companies. They can give expert advice and answer the questions you may have about hospice care for you.
The Benefits of Hospice Care
For many, there are a plethora of benefits to choosing to undergo hospice care. One of the main benefits is that the patient receives a robust care package. This is something that other care settings cannot always deliver. In addition, there are more specialists to deal with the terminal diagnosis of the patient. The caregivers who work for the company are specially trained to deal with the illnesses of the patients in their care. They are able to tackle issues of grief and help patients and families work through these, as well as educate everyone involved about the death and dying process.
Some patients and families will seek out hospices because they can obtain additional care. This means regardless of holidays, weekends and night shifts; they can still get the care that they deserve and need. These companies offer people dignity and tender loving care when it is needed most. Having constant access to expert care and facilities provides comfort to families and individuals who need additional support.
Hospices can also lessen the financial burden to those who are struggling to pay for medical care. Insurance and Medicare usually pay for medical care, medication, and equipment related to the hospice diagnosis and treatment. Be aware, there are things that Medicare won't pay for once a patient is on hospice.
- Treatment to cure a terminal illness
- Prescription medication to cure a terminal illness
- Room and board- Medicare will pay for short term inpatient or respite stays in a facility if the team determines that it is necessary
- Emergency Room, Inpatient Facility Care, or transportation by an ambulance
Remember, when this type of care is chosen, it means that the patient no longer wants to treat their terminal diagnosis and the focus becomes “comfort care”. Any patient has the right to stop hospice care at any time.