HomeHealth Blog

A Few Hospice FAQs To Know To Make An Educated Decision

Most people mix up home health care and hospice care and there are lots of valid reasons to do so. Though the primary objective of both is more or les

Most people mix up home health care and hospice care and there are lots of valid reasons to do so. Though the primary objective of both is more or less the same which is to provide medical care and service to the ailing patients there are a few specific facts that separate one from the other.

Ideally, patients who are suffering from terminal illness or any life threatening diseases are often advised for hospice care. These are special treatments that are typically provided by an expert team of healthcare professionals that include:

  • The doctors
  • Nurses
  • Assistants
  • Other health aides and
  • Specific therapists.

Usually, hospice is provided to patients who have six months or less of life left. According to the hospice philosophy, the care emphasizes primarily on the control of pain along with the provision of other relevant services that will help the terminally ill patient to feel some sort of comfort at home.

The principal objective behind hospice care is to provide care to the patients dying or nearing death with comfort, peace and dignity as much and as long as possible as they slowly progress towards their end of life.

If you opt for home hospice care, it may be provided by a combination of the family members as well as the medical professionals as mentioned above. However, whether it is provided at home or within a medical facility, there are several guidelines that must be followed pertaining to such type of care. These set guidelines and specific rules are formulated by the Department of Health especially for the in-home hospice care. According to this guideline it is required that:

  • Every person involved in this type of care must act as a part of the entire unit of care that includes the patient themselves
  • All must be well aware of the set rules and guidelines of the DOH
  • All must also know about the procedures included as well as the provisions regarding the care and services
  • The patient must know about the indemnity coverage
  • There must be criminal record checks made and
  • Emergency preparedness is compulsory in such situations.

All these are designed with intent to meet the specific needs of the terminally ill patients as well as their family members by following the right approach with best care, attention and attitude. In short, this end-of-life care must focus more on quality rather than the quantity of life emphasizing on the dignity of the patient during his or her final days.

Few FAQs

When you want hospice care at home there are a few FAQs and facts to know so that you do not face any surprises in the end and make the situation mentally worse for you as well as the family members. Therefore, it is prudent that you have a list of questions ready when you meet such service providers such as myallamericancare or any other authorized from the DOH to provide such services.

  • Start with the eligibility factor of hospice which primarily involves terminal illness. However, a proper and thorough discussion with the physician is strongly recommended to find whether or not it is really required. You may also be provided with a few referrals as well by the physician.
  • Next ask about the location factor as to where such a service will be provided. Though in most of the cases such care is provided at the home of the terminally ill patient, you may also choose a comfortable, relaxing, homely and familiar setting in one of the state-of-the art care centers of the provider.
  • The time to start hospice care is another important thing to know. In most of the cases, such care should be started as soon as a patient is identified with a terminal illness, or has personally opted to discontinue treatment for such an illness. It is always good to discuss about the likelihood of hospice care well in advance so that you can take care of matters long before it becomes an unmanageable concern or an unplanned or abrupt care situation.
  • Next thing to discuss is the type of care you want from the type of persons you want to hire and the payment options. Ideally, you have the options to choose a nurse, a social worker or a chaplain. As for the payment options, most care givers will accept Medicare, Medicaid or any private insurance that covers hospice care. If you do not have any insurance of such kind, be well informed about the payments so that you get exactly what you want and pay for.
  • There is no need to meet a new physician if you want to receive hospice care and therefore do not give in to such forceful requirements by the care giver to meet their panel of physicians. Ideally, you can continue seeing your current physician and the care giver is liable to partner and coordinate with your primary care doctor.
  • Time of hospice care to be provided is another factor to consider and ask to the care provider. Sometimes such care is needed around the clock but it is advised that you and the care provider work closely with your physician, family member and of course the patient to design a personalized hospice care program because there is no ‘one size fits all’ concept in such care and varied according to the needs of the patients.
  • Also ask for the services provided as reliable services will include all medication and equipment required by the patient along with the supplies and any other relevant services required to the hospice diagnosis.
  • Accessibility and availability is a very important factor to consider as emergency situations can arise any time. There must be a knowledgeable and responsive back end support to answer your questions and offer support 24/7.

Lastly, ask about their experience and credentials, check the tools and resources available and their previous track records. All these checks will ensure that the patient receives the desired level of care but most importantly the required companionship, comfort and emotional support during the final days.