For those who’ve never seen, experienced, or had a loved one receive hospice care, the idea of it might leave you with any number of feelings. From worry and confusion to curiosity and anticipation, however you are feeling is 100% normal.
Having a less-than-clear understanding of what something is or how it works can lead to any number of feelings. And, I've experienced that a little information can replace those worries and feelings with understanding. So, let's learn about hospice care...
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice care, sometimes known as end-of-life care, is medical care focused on managing pain and controlling symptoms. Hospice reorients goals toward quality over quantity of life, acknowledging and affirming that human beings are more than just physical bodies and have spiritual and social needs.
As a result, the care someone receives through hospice does not speed up or slow down the dying process. In fact, research has shown that hospice sometimes extends the life of the patient. At its core, hospice is holistic. Hospice recognizes the whole being of the patient and honors family systems, as opposed to just treating the body and dealing with disease.
Who can receive hospice care?
Before an individual can receive hospice care, their doctor and a hospice medical director have to certify they have a life-limiting illness and that death can be expected in six months or less. Some individuals receive hospice care longer than six months because an illness’s progression and what end-of-life looks like varies from person to person.
Does hospice care have specific work hours?
Hospice care doesn't take days off. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. While each individual’s care schedule will differ depending on their specific needs, hospice care provides nurses, social workers, and chaplains on-call at all times.
What does a hospice volunteer do?
Volunteers provide non-medical support like preparing meals, offering companionship, and running errands. All volunteers go through special screening and training.
Will I need to move to receive hospice care?
Hospice care takes place in the home of the individual receiving care. Whether their home is in a house, apartment, assisted living community, or long-term care, the location won't affect their ability to receive hospice care.
How is hospice payed for?
Hospice care is funded through the Medicare Hospice Benefit, as well as most private insurers. While Medicaid benefits vary between states, hospice has financial staff who will help individuals and their families understand how to cover hospice costs.
Looking to learn more about hospice care and how it can affect your loved one? Feel free to contact one of our care specialists.