Is Hospice right for me?
Most people don’t like to think about having the conversation with their loved one about hospice, In fact, it can even be uncomfortable for physicians to start the conversation about hospice with a patient’s family.
But just one conversation can really help save a loved one from suffering and provide much needed support services and relief for caregivers, too.
- Talking about hospice care does not mean giving up hope
- Many people find it comforting to know there is another source of help and support
- Discussing hospice gives your loved ones and you information about all the options available to them
When should you start the conversation?
A person should think about hospice long before he or she faces a medical crisis. But a number of events can trigger a conversation about hospice care.
Consider talking to your loved ones about hospice when:
- They have been diagnosed with a terminal illness
- Repeated trips to the emergency room or hospitalizations are occurring
- Their condition has steadily or significantly declined
- When they are discouraged, exhausted and could use support services
- If they have requested no further curative treatment
- When a physician suggests hospice care during a routine visit
How Hospice Helps Everyone
- Hospice provides essential medical care, including management of pain and symptoms, for the patient in the comfort of their home
- Hospice helps family members understand, prepare for, and support each other through a final illness, and throughout the grieving process
- Hospice care is covered by Medicare for up to six months in many cases
- Hospice care is appropriate for patients with end-stage cardiac conditions, including congestive heart failure (CHF), if the patient meets the admission criteria set forth by Medicare and Medicaid
10 Things You May Not Know About Hospice
- Hospice is not a place; it’s high-quality medical care that helps the patients and family caregivers focus on comfort and quality of life.
- Hospice is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, most insurance plans, HMOs and managed care plans. Fear of costs should never prevent a person from accessing hospice care.
- Hospice serves anyone with a life-limiting illness, regardless of age or type of illness.
- Hospice serves people of all backgrounds and traditions; the core values of hospice – allowing the patient to be with family, including spiritual and emotional support, treating pain – are appropriate for differing cultures.
- Research has shown that the majority of Americans would prefer to be at home at the end of life’s journey – hospice makes this possible for most people.
- Hospice serves people living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as in the comfort of the patient’s home.
- Hospice patients and families can receive care for six months or longer.
- A person may keep his or her referring physician involved while receiving hospice care.
- Hospice offers grief and bereavement services to family members and the community.
- To get the most out of what hospice offers, it’s better to have care for more than just a few days.