Talking about end-of-life care can be difficult and sometimes overwhelming, especially when someone has been recently diagnosed with a terminal-illness. From the start of a diagnosis, there is so much information, from doctors to personal family opinions; it’s a lot to process. Knowing the facts and understanding the basics of hospice can help you and your loved ones find the right plan of care as you navigate through a life-limiting illness.
What is hospice? Hospice is a special concept of care designed to support patients and their families when faced with a terminal illness. When cure-oriented treatments are no longer an option, hospice may be another mode of therapy. Hospice promotes improving the quality of a patient’s life by offering comfort and dignity. Hospice professionals can do many things to control pain, reduce anxiety, offer emotional and spiritual support and improve overall quality of life.
Who qualifies for hospice? When a patient is suffering from a disease that is terminal, having six months or less left to live, he or she is eligible to receive hospice care. Both a doctor and a hospice provider conduct an assessment and determine who qualifies for hospice care.
What services are provided? Each hospice patient has an interdisciplinary team which include physicians, registered nurses, social workers, spiritual and bereavement counselors, licensed therapists, dietary counselors, volunteers, hospice aides and homemaker services. Some hospice services include physician visits, nursing care, medical equipment/supplies and medications related to the patient’s illness. Hospice offers 24/7 comfort care and support to the patient and their families.
Where is hospice provided? People who choose hospice do not “go into” hospice, but receive services where they live. This includes residences, assisted living facilities or nursing and retirement homes. The intention of hospice is to provide services to the patient wherever they call home.
Who pays for Hospice? Hospice is usually less expensive than conventional care during the last six months of life. Medicare and Medi-Cal offer 100% coverage, and there are no out-of-pocket expenses to patients and/or their families for services related to their hospice terminal diagnosis. Some private insurance eligibility might differ.
This information can help you make an informed decision as to whether you or a loved one should start the process of entering hospice care.
Serenity Hospice is committed to helping patients and their loved ones every step of the way.
Serenity Hospice offers consultations and can be reached at (760) 325.8718.