What is hospice care?
Hospice care is designed to alleviate pain for terminal patients and provide quality time with their family and friends. The goal of hospice care is not to provide a cure for disease but to allow patients the highest possible quality of life for the time remaining. Hospice care can be provided in the patient’s home or at a dedicated hospice facility. Psychosocial, emotional and spiritual support is also available.
When should a patient enter hospice care?
That decision should be made by the patient and family. Generally, the sooner the patient enters hospice, the sooner the staff can begin to alleviate his pain and symptoms and improve quality of life.
Who is eligible for hospice care?
Anyone who has been diagnosed with end-stage or terminal illness is a candidate for hospice care. Many patients don’t wish to spend their last days in a hospital and prefer the emotional and medical support offered by professional hospice work.
Is hospice care covered by insurance?
Most private insurance plans as well as Medicare, Medicaid in some states, the Department of Veterans Affairs, HMOs and other managed care organizations pay for hospice care. Check with your agent or plan representative for coverage details.
How can I be sure that I will receive hospice care?
The best way is prepare a medical directive stating that you wish to receive hospice care when your stated conditions have been met (e.g. constant pain, unable to eat, terminal diagnosis). Let your family know your wishes and where they can find your medical directive.
Which is better, home hospice care, being in a hospice house?
Hospice workers are trained to provide the same level of care in the patient’s home as in a dedicated hospice. The choice may be decided by the patient’s condition, the size of his home and/or the presence of family or friends. If a patient feels comfortable at home and can accommodate the necessary equipment there, having in-home care is generally the preferable option.