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Why Is Hospice Important?

Why Is Hospice Important?

Why Is Hospice Important?

Hospice care is designed to help people with life-limiting diseases and illnesses, helping them maximize their remaining time.

What is Hospice?

Hospice is not a place where you or a loved one goes to give up. It is a service that helps people live their last days with a greater degree of comfort and dignity. The process begins when a doctor recommends a patient to a hospice program.

The goal of hospice is not just to extend someone’s life but to improve the quality of that person’s remaining life through pain management and comfort.

The name hospice was first used by St. Francis of Assisi to describe his visits to those in need. Modern hospice services offer not only non-curative medical care but also support for the patient and family in this challenging chapter of life.

Each patient receives a personalized care plan, including whatever services they need, such as home health care, medical treatment, special equipment, medications, and more.

What Does Hospice Include?

When deciding whether hospice care is appropriate for your loved one, it may help to understand what hospice care includes.

The name hospice was first used by St. Francis of Assisi to describe his visits to those in need. Modern hospice services offer not only non-curative medical care but also support for the patient and family in this challenging chapter of life.

The word “hospice” is commonly used to describe nursing home facilities or residential care facilities that provide long- or short-term services for persons with chronic or terminal illnesses. But the term actually refers to a philosophy of care rather than the type of facility in which it is delivered.

Hospice is an ongoing program of care for patients in the final stages of life. Hospice provides a wide range of services, including pain control, symptom management, and emotional support.

  • Pain Control: Hospices use a team approach to relieve pain through a combination of medications, physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, and other treatments.
  • Symptom Management: Hospice medical support can also help to alleviate other symptoms associated with the person’s illness, such as nausea, fatigue, depression, and more.
  • Emotional Support: Patients with chronic pain and life-limiting conditions often experience mental fatigue as well, including depression and anxiety. Support services are available to improve the patient’s mental health.
  • Communication: A doctor from the hospice team works with your loved one’s doctor to ensure that they are appropriately medicated for maximum comfort. Ongoing communication with all care providers is critical to ensure the quality of services.

These services focus on maximizing quality of life by providing a supportive environment and prioritizing the patient’s wishes and preferences.

What are the Benefits of Hospice?

Here are some of the hospice benefits for the patient and their families:

  • Quality of Care: Hospice services in the home provide the same range of services and benefits that would be provided in a hospital or skilled nursing facility.
  • Range of Specialties: The hospice team consists of an interdisciplinary group of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains and/or other professionals who will meet with the patient and family to develop a personalized care plan based on the patient’s wishes and values.
  • Full-Service Solutions: In addition to providing direct services to the patient, the team assists in coordinating all other inpatient and outpatient medical services for patients to meet the patients’ wishes and values.
  • Family Support: Family members receive emotional support throughout the process of losing a loved one. They have someone they can talk to about their feelings and needs during this challenging time, including decisions about medical care and funeral arrangements.
  • Preparing for the Future: Hospice workers help patients plan their final days by explaining what it will be like and what they need to do now to prepare. They also provide grief counseling for family members after a loved one is gone.

Who Pays for Hospice Care?

Private insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare are all examples of how you can cover hospice care’s financial costs. Often, a family’s financial burden is reduced through hospice since you can minimize the out-of-pocket expenses for yourself or a loved one.

Families can feel the financial burden of medical treatments, caregiving, and more. Therefore, it’s crucial to design the right hospice plan to alleviate these monetary concerns.

Since hospice is usually covered through an insurance provider, there is no reason not to use these services when a loved one needs support.

If you have questions about available coverage, then it’s best to talk to your insurance provider for more information. Or, reach out to our team at Avatar Healthcare so we can help with your authorization and coverage options.

What is the Best Timeline for Hospice Services?

Hospice care is most commonly associated with end-of-life treatment for cancer patients. Still, it can also be used for patients with life-threatening illnesses (such as advanced heart failure) or chronic debilitating diseases.

Hospice is typically used for patients with serious illnesses who have a prognosis of six months or less, but no time limit is set on how long one may stay in hospice. Many patients have been able to stay in hospice for weeks or months, sometimes even a year or more.

Hospice care can be provided to a patient in a hospital, nursing home, an assisted living facility, or the patient’s residence. It is common for the patient to continue receiving hospice care after being moved from their home to a different location where they have more access to medical services.

Also, keep in mind that a person can discontinue hospice services if they decide to pursue curative treatments again.

Tips for Choosing a Hospice Provider

Here are some tips for choosing a hospice provider:

  1. Look at the quality of the staff. Hospice care requires a lot of different kinds of expertise, and it also requires an unusual degree of compassion and patience. So, look for a provider who has a genuine concern for patients and works well together as a team.
  2. Evaluate industry experience: Ideally, your hospice provider should be someone with many years of experience in the industry. So pay attention to how long people have been working there since turnover is often a sign of poor management or low pay.
  3. Consider the physical environment. If you are moving a loved one to a care community, do your research to ensure the quality of the location. Hospices are required by law to have good facilities, but you can’t always judge them by appearances alone. Many people prefer in-home hospice care instead of moving to another location.

Because each patient is unique, the decision about pain management should be made with input from loved ones as well as from health care professionals.

Is Hospice Right for You?

So how do you know if hospice is right for you and your loved ones? The first thing to ask yourself is: “Am I ready to help my loved one enjoy an improved quality of life?”

It’s important to remember that hospice care does not guarantee a certain length of life. Nor does it offer curative treatments. Instead, it focuses on maintaining the quality of life for patients and their loved ones.

Our team is here to help with your personalized hospice or home health care plan. The first step is to schedule a consultation to learn more about available services. Contact Avatar Healthcare to see if you or a loved one qualifies for hospice services: (844) 422-5528. 

 

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