by Kevin K. Johnson, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
As you likely know, hospices care for people at the end of life. You probably know a friend or family member who received hospice assistance when they were faced with a serious illness and death of a loved one. But do you really know how they leveraged hospice care? Read the following for a better understanding of hospice and so that you will know how to leverage this great service should you ever need to do so.
- Hospice is not a place but a special kind of care.
- Hospice care is available to people of all ages with any kind of life-limiting illness, including cancer, advanced Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS and other life-limiting illnesses.
- A hospice care team is made of doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, spiritual care providers, trained volunteers ad other skilled professionals who provide high-quality, compassionate care.
- Hospice care is fully covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans and HMOs’.
- Hospice provides all medications and medical equipment needed to keep a person safe and comfortable.
- There’s no limit to the amount of hospice care a person can receive, it’s available as long as a doctor believes a patient is eligible.
- Most care is provided at home but hospice is also available in nursing homes, assisted living and long term care facilities and hospice inpatient units.
- Hospice care can include complementary therapies, such as music and art, t ring additional comfort to patients and families.
- Hospice programs offer grief support to the families they care for as well as to others in the community who are grieving.
- More that 1.5 million people receive care every year.
So many of our care recipients and their family members refer to our Visiting Angels professional caregivers as ‘angels’; surely a compliment to the loving and compassionate care they provide. Very often, our caregivers are engaged to assist hospice care providers either in the home, a hospital, or a hospice facility.
Generally speaking, hospice is an under utilized service that can be a blessing, but only if you know about it! Take time to learn about hospice care. I think you will be glad you did!
reference: NHPCO (National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization)