If you have been considering hospice for yourself or for your spouse, partner, parent, sibling or other family member, here are a few things you should know.
- The primary goal of hospice care is to provide comfort and peace of mind to patients.
- Hospices provide this service in private homes and care facilities.
- Hospice nurses and home health aides monitor a patient’s condition through in-person visits several times each week.
- Hospice staff members offer guidance for family members regarding care for patients. Hospice agencies provide supplies as needed, such as hospital beds, adult diapers and oxygen for home use.
- Hospice is a fully covered by Medicare. Other private and government-issued insurance plans typically cover hospice care completely.
- Hospice personnel know that patients and family members may not be familiar with hospice care and how it works. They work to assure that all concerned are well informed about the extent of care hospice offers.
- Although nurses and other staff are on call round-the-clock, hospices do not provide 24/7 care. In-home caregivers (including family members and home health care service providers) or nursing facility staff take care of patient needs on a day-to-day basis.
- Hospice care can include visits from a massage therapist who is trained to help address discomforts that typically affect hospice patients.
- Hospice volunteers are available to provide companionship to patients. They may read to them or simply visit and share a conversation.
- The hospice chaplain offers counsel to patients as well as to family members. He or she can offer ways to address grief, as necessary.
- Hospice does not accelerate or slow down the dying process. Its purpose is to allow patients to spend their final days living the best life possible.
- The hospice team will help guide caregivers through the final stages of the patient’s life.
If you have questions about hospice care in St. Louis, please call Hope Hospice at 314-984-9800.