With an aging population, families across the country are arriving at the decision to arrange for hospice care, and individuals seeking a comfortable life after a terminal diagnosis are also seeing the value of hospice care.
As with any professional who may have an impact on your health, it’s essential that the person chosen for that job is qualified. There are several questions you can ask that can help ensure you’re picking the right home care or hospice care professional for your needs.
Will someone be at the patient’s bedside at the end of his or her life?
Although it’s not possible to predict the exact moment of death in most cases, there are signals that indicate the end of life is imminent. In circumstances where an individual doesn’t have family who can remain close by at all times, you may wish to find a hospice care provider that can ensure someone will be on hand in the hours leading up to a person’s passing.
How does the hospice care provider hire its employees?
You may wish to investigate how the hospice care provider or the company that arranges home care visits spends it’s money. Does the provider or placement service have a written commitment that defines the important aspects of end of life care? Does the provider hire its employees, or does it contract out with staffing agencies?
Does the hospice care provider have Medicare approval?
Many hospices are certified by Medicare, which is the government health care program that covers people over 65, as well as certain people who have disabilities. A provider that is certified by Medicare means that the coverage will pay for hospice fees without deductibles and co-pays. The vast majority of patients in hospice care each year are cared for by a Medicare certified provider.
Will there be someone there 24-hours a day?
Not all hospice care or home care companies provide assistance 24-hours a day. You may find it comforting to place a loved one under the care of a hospice provider where there is someone available at any time to deal with emergencies and urgent needs. You may wish to ask how long their average response time is for emergencies, as well as whether they have attendants dedicated to working the night shift.
Is there an option for palliative care instead of hospice care?
Not everyone who may benefit from a specialized health care environment is suffering from a terminal illness or is elderly and reaching the end of his or her life. Palliative care offers the support someone might need to recover from a devastating injury. If you need palliative care, you will want to ensure your hospice offers this option for symptom management and pain relief. Hospice care and palliative care are different and require different approaches.
Are there different options for care, such as assistance living apartments?
Hospice care takes many forms including end of life care in a hospice facility, home care in the patient’s residence, and hospice care via an assisted living community. You may find it helpful to find a hospice care option that not only provides care in an assisted living environment but round-the-clock hospice care in a facility to which the patient may relocate to when the time comes.
Skilled and Compassionate Care at Summit Hospice
Hospice care is an important consideration for improving the quality of life of an ill or elderly relative, and Summit Hospice can help you and your family focus on enjoying life through skilled and compassionate end of life care. We offer a multidisciplinary team of experienced end of life care professionals, and we can help you decide if our hospice services are right for you and your family. Contact us today to learn more!