If you are thinking about getting hospice for your loved one, you may wonder when the right time might be. You might want to get hospice care for your loved one as soon as you can. Hospice professionals are specialists in providing end-of-life care. Getting hospice care for your loved one as early as possible can help you and your loved one through the process. Elder Care Direction has a team of compassionate professionals who may guide you through the process of getting hospice care for your loved one.
Who is eligible?
Doctors must certify that patients have six months or less to live for them to qualify for hospice. Patients must also decide to skip curative treatments. Hospice care is provided instead of aggressive medical interventions. Some patients may continue to live beyond six months and are able to continue receiving hospice care as long as their doctors continue to certify their eligibility.
Medicaid, Medicare and most private medical insurance plans pay for hospice care. There are also a number of non-profit care providers that offer services without regard to whether or not the person is able to pay.
How to start hospice care
Anybody can refer another person to hospice, but most people are referred by doctors. You can also start the process by calling your local hospice provider. Once a formal request is made, most providers begin to give care within a day or two.
What hospice care offers
Hospice care is meant to help people who are at the end of their lives to make the transition from life to death as easily as possible. Professionals develop individual care plans to help with the emotional and physical pain. Hospice can help the patient to put his or her life in order so that the end of life is more intimate and meaningful.
Hospice care allows families to work through the end of life as a unit in a setting that is comfortable. In many cases, the patient stays at home while he or she is under professional supervision. Each hospice patient will have an interdisciplinary care team assigned. The team might include a doctor, nurse, social worker, pharmacist, chaplain, therapists, volunteers and a bereavement counselor. The team focuses on the patient rather than on his or her illness.
Pain and symptom management
It is much better to try to manage symptoms and pain before they become severe. This makes it important to start hospice care as soon as the patient is eligible and ready.
The care team will decide which medications are most appropriate to relieve the pain and symptoms.
Enhancing the quality of life
Wherever a patient receives hospice care, the workers make certain that their environment meets their needs and assists in their quality of life. Hospice providers are able to supply equipment and care in almost any place. For some people, portable oxygen tanks that are provided by the hospice may give them more freedom and mobility. The sooner that a patient is able to receive hospice care, the likelier that he or she will be able to maintain his or her comfort and dignity.
Caregivers need care, too
Another important service that is provided by hospice is respite care. This involves the patient staying in a Medicare-approved facility for up to five days at a time. This can be important for some caregivers who need a break. Caregivers and patients may also have access to staff who are on-call 24 hours per day.
Contact Elder Care Direction
The professionals at Elder Care Direction are dedicated to helping families with their end-of-life needs and the other needs of elderly people. To learn more about your options, call us today to schedule your consultation.