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What does hospice for end of life care entail?

Posted: June 15, 2017, 10:43AM

Hospice care is designed for patients who have an end of life diagnosis.  This means that the prognosis is for less than 6 months to live although some care receivers live beyond that.  When you or your care receiver is diagnosed with an end-stage illness, you may want to learn about hospice care options. Quite often, the referral for hospice care is made with only days left for the care receiver to live and the full benefit of hospice care cannot be realized.

Hospice care provides a holistic approach to care focusing on spiritual, mental, emotional and physical comfort for care receivers, their caregivers and their families.  Hospice care is provided by nurses, physicians, aides, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers.  Hospice also offers a respite benefit for the care receiver.  Bereavement care is also provided.

Hospice care can be provided in the home or in a facility.  The cost of hospice is covered by Medicare's Hospice benefit, Medicaid and most private insurances.  Hospice coverage includes medications, medical equipment, supplies and treatments (not curative) related to the end-stage illness.  (Hospice care does not cover room and board in nursing facilities.)  Care receivers can elect to receive hospice care if criteria are met and they can opt to leave hospice care.  They are not obligated to remain in hospice care if they choose not to.

Hospice care teams offer care and support, and help educate the caregivers and familes on how to care for the family member.  Volunteers are often a part of hospice offering visiting and other types of support.  Hospice provides assistance in managing pain and other symptoms experienced by care receivers at the end of their lives.  Hospice staff members work with the physician to enhance quality of life.  Grief support is provided to help families cope with the loss of their loved one.

Hospice care can be provided for end of life diagnoses such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease/dementia, ALS, COPD, CHF, MS, acute or chronic CVA, HIV, liver disease, Parkinson's disease, renal disease, pulmonary disease, trauma or head injury and other end of life diagnoses.

Hospice care allows their patients to receive quality care and comfort measures at end of life.  When our loved ones are terminal, hospice can help them move to the end of life's journey with comfort, pain & symptom management and dignity.

If you are interested in hospice care, contact us for information on hospice care options in your area.

 






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