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Month: March 2017

Deciding if you need home hospice care or nursing home

Deciding if you need home hospice care or nursing home

Understanding Quality Hospice Care

First, everyone should be aware that hospice is not a place. Hospice services are comfort care for individuals with a life-limiting disease. Its focus is on quality of life, also called palliative, care. When you and your family choose home hospice care, a group of medical professionals works together to care for the patient. This team includes doctors, nurses, aides, social workers, chaplains, volunteers, and bereavement counselors. Services are delivered wherever the patient resides, including skilled nursing facilities, retirement homes, and assisted livings.

Home hospice care provides skilled oversight of pain and other symptoms, RNs available day and night, help with personal grooming, grief assistance, spiritual counseling, prescriptions, and medical equipment.

Are you or your loved one eligible for hospice care?

Anyone with a prognosis of six months or less, if the disease were to run its expected course, qualifies for care. A lot of people are in home hospice care greater than or less than six months. A terminal illness does not always progress as expected. Some people are taken off hospice care because their condition stops declining or even improves while receiving quality hospice services.

Two doctors must approve that it is their opinion that the life expectancy continues to be six months or less, to remain eligible for hospice services.

When should you consider Medicare hospice benefit as an option?

Whenever you agree that curative care are no longer helping or wanted. Hospice is going to concentrate on you or your loved one’s quality of life, not curing the terminal diagnosis. Hospice does, however, aggressively treat pain and symptoms to ensure you or your loved one is pain-free.

home hospice careSome Advice for Finding Fort Worth Hospice Care

1. Don’t wait for your doctor to bring up hospice.

As the family caregiver, you and your family member are the people who can choose if hospice services care is the right option. Many people find that it helps to make this choice with input from other family members and their primary doctor. The patient and family must freely choose hospice – meaning that no one can force you to accept hospice care.

Your family doctor may be the first one to suggest hospice care, or you may be the first to suggest it. You should not be afraid to discuss care options with your doctor, including hospice care.

Some doctors, mistakenly, feel like offering hospice is a sign of failure and are reluctant to talk about it. Your doctor, along with the hospice Medical Director, will need to certify the prognosis meets the hospice guidelines.

2. Not all hospices are the same.

There are usually multiple hospice companies in every city/town. While their main services may be similar, home hospice providers can have vastly different levels of services. You do not have to use the hospice that your doctor chooses.

You can inquire with many hospices and request services from the agency that you feel will best take care of you and your family’s. suggests finding a hospice that others in the community.

3. Ask about nights and weekends.

Excellent hospice care is available nights and weekends. While routine visits might be during Monday through Friday, a symptom exacerbation could occur at 1 a.m. on a Saturday. Ask them to tell you about their evening response time and on-call staffing.

4. Only choose a hospice team with heart.

When describing care with a potential hospice company, make sure they listen. Make sure they exhibit sincere care and concern for you and your family’s situation. If they are so big that they seem rushed to fully answer your questions, you should use a better hospice agency.



Hospice care facts

Hospice care facts

Individuals with Medicare (yes, Medicare!) may indeed be eligible for coverage for hospice care through their policy. Patients of any age with Medicare that have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have been medically certified as having only six months or less left to live are eligible. If perchance, the patient continues to live beyond that six month period of hospice care, coverage will be extended as long as the patient is believed to still be within the six month period of dying.

hospice careThe vast majority of hospice patients pass away in thirty days or less, but others may go on for years with a similar medical outlook in regards to expected lifespan. Hospice care is administered by an interdisciplinary team of medical professionals including nurses, doctors, nursing assistants, and even volunteers who ensure the patient’s needs are being met. Many hospice programs also offer through health insurance counseling services for the ill person and their close family members as they go through the grief process.

Treatment is not focused on curing or preventing disease since, at the point of requiring hospice care, a disease has already taken its toll on the body and been deemed terminal. Rather, the focus is on ensuring the patient’s comfort and reducing any pain or discomfort during their final days.

This is simply not the case at all, as patients may be eligible for hospice care for other conditions such as stroke, Alzheimer’s, renal failure, end-stage heart disease, end-stage lung disease, and some other conditions. Mostly, if a diagnosis is acceptable on a death certificate, it would qualify a patient for obtaining hospice care through their health insurance provider.

Actual coverage varies depending on one’s actual health insurance company and particular policy, but most do indeed offer coverage for this choice of care.

Consider a Career in Hospice

To hear a hospice employee tell it, there are few healthcare careers more rewarding than those in palliative care. While admittedly highly emotional, the satisfaction that is gleaned from helping patients and their families through their difficult time is unlike anything else in medicine. And, an unfortunate reality of having an aging population in America is that hospice care will continue to grow and become more and more “popular” as the baby boomer generation reaches their twilight years. As a result, careers in hospice and other similar services will become more and more available during a time when jobs in America aren’t always easy to come by. So, what should you expect out of working in hospice?

hospice careOne of the nice things about working at a hospice center is that there are a wide variety of support positions available. If you are a medical doctor, you can use your experience and expertise to help monitor your patients – many of whom are quite sick – and ensure that they are comfortable and well-versed on the state of their overall health. The ultimate goal here is to help maintain the best possible quality of health for the individual, while also keeping their family members informed on what to expect in the coming weeks or months. Nursing positions in hospice are also quite popular among healthcare professionals because these areas give the right kind of person an opportunity to develop a meaningful relationship with the patient and their families when they are undoubtedly looking for someone to trust.

In addition to the nurses and doctors, hospice care requires support staff and volunteers. A big reason that hospice has become such a well-respected institution is that of the comfort that it provides its patients. In many cases, patients far outlive their prognosis with a much better quality of life than they would in a sterile, impersonal hospital setting. What’s more, support staff works with the patients and can often help them meet personal goals, create art, bond with new friends and long-lost family members, and enjoy the final chapter in their lives. Social workers and mental health professionals are also integral to the process, helping provide comfort, insight, and perspective at a time when patients and their families need it most. Even administrative staff plays a significant role in hospice care. Everyone from insurance experts to data entry specialists and office managers is necessary to help the office run reliably.

Make no mistake, working at the hospice isn’t always easy. There will be emotional days and times when you might wish that your job was a little easier. With that said, the personal and professional satisfaction that comes from bonding with your patients and helping them during a period when they most need your support and care is immeasurably important. Careers in healthcare are and continue to be widely available. Dedicating yourself to palliative care is an excellent career option or a great way to volunteer your free time. Contact your community hospice center today to learn more about how you can help.