Where does a family member begin when the need for hospice care for a loved one becomes more than just a vague, distant possibility?
Begin with research. Go to your computer. Numerous online resources offer information about hospice care.
Talk to friends, neighbors, co-workers and fellow church members. Those who have had family members in hospice may be able to share useful input. Realize that one family’s experiences may vary widely from those of another.
Talk to medical personnel. Your loved one’s doctor, your physicians and others you know in the medical community.
Call us at Hope Hospice. If we cannot answer your specific questions immediately, we’ll get back in touch with the information you need. Our number is 314-984-9800.
Here are some of the basic facts of hospice care in the U.S.:
- Most hospice care happens at home or in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
- A person is deemed eligible for hospice care when a doctor determines that he or she has a life expectancy of 6 months or less.
- The cost of hospice care is fully covered by Medicare. Also, many state Medicaid plans and private health insurance plans cover hospice care.
- A primary goal of hospice care is pain and symptom control. Hospice works to help a patient maintain a good quality of life for his or her remaining time.
- Hospice care is a team effort involving doctors, nurses, home health aides, social workers, chaplains and other support personnel. (Hope Hospice has a massage therapist to help with patient comfort.)
- Hospice does not provide 24/7 nursing or personal care. It is up to family members or other loved ones (or hired caregivers) to serve as primary caregivers.
- Hospice team members can provide guidance to caregivers who may be unfamiliar with all the necessary elements of home care.
- A hospice agency may provide equipment such as hospital type beds and adult diapers.
The more you learn about hospice care before you or the doctor makes the call to the hospice agency, the better it is for you, the caregiver and for the patient.
You can call Hope Hospice (based in St. Louis county) with questions at 314-984-9800. You may also visit our website: http://hopehospicestl.com/