Hospice care provides a full range of services and a higher level of support unlike any other for those with life-limiting illness and a prognosis of 6 months. Studies show that if started before the last days of life, it results in higher satisfaction of care and a better quality of life. We recognize that the decision to start hospice is an emotionally difficult one and we are here to help support and guide through the process. Read on to answer the most frequently asked questions.
What services does Hospice provide?
Hospice covers all needs of those with life-limiting illness including the management of pain and symptoms, physical care needs, psychosocial and spiritual needs. It is not intended to replace the caregivers but, enhance the support system already in place. Medications and supplies as needed to manage the terminal diagnosis are also included. Nurses are available 24/7 and bereavement services are provided as well.
Who are the members of the Hospice team?
Professionals on the team include an RN case manager, licensed social worker, physician, nurse practitioner, chaplain, licensed dietician and therapists. Caregivers provide assistance with needs related to activities of daily living. Volunteers also provide a lot of support in a variety of ways depending on individual needs.
When should hospice be considered?
Some signs that it might be appropriate include multiple hospital admissions in a short period of time, unexplained weight loss, spending most of the day in a chair or bed, unmanaged pain, shortness of breath while sitting or lying down and multiple falls within a few months. Common illnesses besides cancer include late stage Dementia, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, lung disease and others.
How are services paid for?
Hospice is a Medicare Part A benefit which provides for care in any setting someone calls home including nursing facilities or assisted livings. Medicaid, VA and most insurance plans also pays for these services. We can assist in the process.
Is Hospice only for 6 months?
Services are provided as long as needed and eligibility requirements are met. It is the goal of Hospice to enhance a person’s quality of life and to give choices in how they want to be cared for during this time.