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Learn About Hospice Care

What is hospice care? Understanding hospice care and why it is significant can be helpful for many family members in charge of end-of-life care for their loved ones. It is also important to know when to consider hospice care for a family member or loved one and how to choose a hospice facility best suited to his or her needs. Beyond knowing the qualifications to be on hospice and finding an appropriate provider, the hospice care costs associated is a consideration. Finding the right program can make all the difference for those who are reaching the end of their life. To find out these answers and more involving end-of-life care, continue reading the information provided below.

What is hospice care?

What is hospice care and why is it important for senior citizens? Hospice care is considered end-of-life care, where a team of registered health care professionals provides services and support. For those who meet the qualifications to be on hospice, a team can consist of doctors, nurses, counselors, social workers, pharmacists, aids, homemakers, volunteers and more. Those who qualify for hospice care services can receive medical, psychological and spiritual support. Caregivers will try to control pain and other areas of concern for a qualifying hospice candidate to offer as much comfort during his or her final days as possible. A patient’s family can also receive care services to help them with the support needed for the difficult time. To find out more information regarding what is hospice care, download our helpful guide today.

When to consider hospice care?

Knowing when to consider hospice care will help those who are unfamiliar with the process. Normally, qualifying hospice care applicants expected to live six months or less. A hospice patient can extend hospice care beyond six months if needed. The timeframe in which to consider hospice care is dependent on the person’s condition in most cases. Hospice may be appropriate for a patient diagnosed with an illness or disease expected to shorten his or her life or if a treatment for a disease has become more of a burden than benefit and end of life is approaching.

Knowing when hospice care should start can help a patient become as comfortable as possible during a difficult time in life. Signs to consider when choosing when to schedule a hospice care evaluation include when a prospective terminally ill patient sleeps excessively throughout the day, has significant unplanned weight loss, difficulty breathing or has multiple hospital visits and stays within a short period of time. If a family member is unsure of when to begin hospice care for a loved one, then scheduling an appointment with the insurance provider or doctor will be the first step.

Who should look for hospice care?

Since hospice care is often associated with terminally ill patients, the patient may not be able to look for proper hospice providers. Who should look for hospice care in these cases? It is generally the family members, spouses or loved ones who will be in charge of seeking hospice care services for a patient. If the family member is legally responsible for the prospective hospice patient, then he or she will be able to make the decisions. However, the patient will need to be declared terminally ill, which the patient’s regular doctor or hospice doctor can do. The person responsible should contact Medicaid or the patient’s insurance company about in-network providers.

How to choose a hospice?

Choosing the right hospice care program may seem like a difficult decision to some. However, knowing how to choose a hospice program as well as the various hospice care costs will aid in the decision-making process. Part of determining how to choose the right hospice care program involves deciding where the care is intended to take place. Hospice care can occur at home, at a hospice center, in a hospital or in a registered nursing facility. Generally, choosing a hospice provider begins with what the insurance plan offers. For instance, through Medicare, a hospice provider can be selected by first providing information regarding the state of care. Contact information for each registered hospice provider will be listed in order for potential patients to consider. Hospice care costs will depend on the services chosen and whether or not the provider is Medicare-approved. A few important questions to consider when choosing the right hospice care program include the following:

  • Is the provider certified and licensed by the state as well as the federal government?
  • How many patients will the assigned hospice care staff have?
  • Will the hospice staff meet regularly for updates to discuss care options?
  • How does the hospice provider respond to after-hour emergencies?
  • Are the volunteers through this hospice provider trained?
  • What measures are in place to ensure quality care?

Figuring out how to choose a hospice provider can be a lengthy process, but many claimants will have the opportunity to work with their insurance provider for further assistance. To find out more information regarding the qualifications to be on hospice along with who should look for hospice care providers, download our helpful guide today.