When the word hospice is mentioned it is often associated with other words like “giving up”. Many people believe that by agreeing to hospice they are signing their own death certificate. While many imagine a hospice patient, bed-bound, in a nursing home and over medicated, they may actually be up enjoying time with family, taking a walk in the park, or going to their favorite restaurant. If you or a loved one qualify for hospice services it is important to fully understand what is available to you under this type of care and that there are many benefits to both the patient and their family members.
Hospice care enhances an individuals quality of life while they’re dealing with a life-limiting illness. It also provides pain and symptom management 24/7. The hospice team consists of physicians, nurses, certified nursing assistance, social workers, and volunteers all covered under the Medicare benefit. This means that hospice services are covered 100% for those who qualify. Care is provided to each person in their own home, wherever that may be. Hospice services also support caregivers by providing vital support and education. They ensure you are well-prepared to care of your loved one to the best of your ability.
However, because of the many misconceptions surrounding this end-of-life care, there are still far to many individuals not taking advantage of this free service. Particularly minorities and other groups, like veterans (the VA covers hospice services as well for those who qualify). Physicians and other healthcare workers are the best ways to introduce the hospice option to a patient and their loved-ones. The earlier in the end-of-life process, the better. Patients and families too should ask questions and have the information they need to make the best decisions when it is time to transition to a higher level of care based on their needs. Hospice attends, with compassion and respect to the patient as whole-as well as family and loved-ones.
For more information on hospice, qualifying, and other common misconceptions, visit our site under the Hospice Knowledge Base section. www.cchlv.com