Choosing Hospice Care: Seven Things You Need to Know

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Monday, January 7, 2019

Hospice care focuses on the quality of life rather than its length. Hospice services are used when a person can no longer be helped by curative treatments and is expected to live about six months or less. It provides humane and compassionate care for people in the last phases of life limiting illness so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible.

 

 

 

Hospice gives palliative care, which is treatment for symptom management and pain, rather than attempting to cure the disease. The hospice philosophy accepts death as the final stage of life: it treats the person rather than the illness, so that a person’s last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones. If you or a loved one are facing a terminal illness, or you are seeking to learn more about hospice programs for the future, here are some important things to know about these invaluable services.

1.     All hospices are not the same. With an increasing number of hospice programs available, you might be thinking that they all provide the same level and quality of care. While Medicare mandates minimum requirements for every hospice program, hospice providers offer these services in unique ways. Some provide only the basic services required, while others significantly exceed them. Here are a few characteristics that you should look for in a quality hospice program:

  • High satisfaction rating from families who have used the service
  • High level of staff certification
  • Longevity of providing care
  • Availability of inpatient hospice care
  • Caregiver support offerings
  •  Bereavement services for family members
  • ·       Response times for crisis situations
  • ·       Joint Commission Accreditation

2.     Hospice doesn’t mean giving up. Sometimes the doctor, patient, or family members will resist hospice because they think it means throwing in the towel or that there’s no hope. This is not accurate. Patients may leave hospice at any time they choose. However, the hope that hospice brings is a quality life, making the best of each day during the last stages of advanced illness.

3.     99% of hospice patients do not have any out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans cover hospice 100%, including home visits, medications, supplies and equipment related to the terminal diagnosis.

4.     Family meetings are an integral part of hospice services. Regularly scheduled meetings, often led by the hospice nurse or social worker, keep family members informed about the patient’s condition and what to expect. These meetings also give everyone a chance to share their feelings, ask questions, and learn about death and the process of dying. Family members can get great support and stress relief through these meetings. Daily updates may also be given informally during routine visits.

5.     Care is coordinated and administered through a team approach. The hospice team coordinates and supervises all care 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. This team may include an inpatient facility, the hospice physician or primary care doctor, volunteers, and other community professionals, such as pharmacists, social workers, clergy, and funeral directors. Caregivers are encouraged to contact your hospice team if there is a problem at any time of the day or night.

6.     Respite care is available for caregivers. Understanding the demand placed upon caregivers, hospice provides caregivers with a service known as ‘respite care’. Under respite care, a terminally-ill loved one can be temporarily checked in to a professional care facility, such as a hospital, hospice inpatient care facility, or nursing home for up to five days at a time. This allows the caregiver to get some much needed rest and time away from the rigorous demands of daily caregiving.

7.     Hospice workers also provide bereavement care. The hospice care team works with surviving loved ones to help them through the grieving process. A trained volunteer, clergy member, or professional counselor provides support to survivors through visits, phone calls, and/or other contact, as well as through support groups. The hospice team can refer family members and caregiving friends to other medical or professional care if needed. These services are often provided for about a year after the patient’s death.

At the center of hospice and palliative care is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity. Choosing to elect hospice care is an important decision that can greatly benefit the quality of life for a person with a life-limiting illness, in addition to proving support to the family during a stressful and difficult time. If you or a loved one has questions about hospice or if you need assistance locating quality hospice care, please reach out to one our compassionate funeral directors.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization serving  three states, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. In all aspects of the funeral process, we strive to be the absolute best and are honored to help preserve our clients’ legacies for future generations.  For more information, please call us at 215-549-4700 or visit our website.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Five Common Questions (And Answers) About Veterans Burial Benefits

Funerals, memorials and celebrations of life offer opportunities to honor and recognize a service member’s heroism and contributions. Whether you’re making final arrangements for a deceased veteran...

Share More Than Wealth with a Meaningful Legacy Letter

What do children of millionaires most wish to inherit from their parents? You might be surprised to learn that it’s not money. In a survey by Wells Fargo Private Bank, Generation Z and Millennial ...

You Can Live Well on Social Security Alone

Traditionally, financial experts have said that retirees need about $1 million in savings to be comfortable. But in truth, most people approaching retirement simply don’t have anything close to tha...

Choosing the Right Casket for Your Loved One

When a loved one dies, selecting the casket can feel like both a special honor and a weighty task. It can feel especially daunting if they didn’t share their internment preferences in advance. Yo...

The Right Funeral Readings Bring Special Meaning to the Service

Funeral readings offer a special opportunity to remember a departed loved one. They’re intended to bring comfort to the grieving while celebrating the life of the deceased and capturing his or her...

Get to Know the Many Benefits of a Living Memorial

Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy. Death can be difficult to accept for both the dying and those closest to them. Homegoings and repasts are invaluable ways to help the living come to ter...

Senior Loneliness: Why Isolation is Bad for Our Aging Loved Ones

Loneliness is wreaking havoc on America’s senior population. A 2017 study from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) revealed that nearly half of the seniors in the U.S. regularly expe...

Smart Solutions for Senior Home Safety

According to a recent AARP survey, the majority of adults approaching age 65 plan to age-in-place, even in the face of health problems. To achieve this, seniors living alone will need to take an ho...

Pass on More Than Money: Leaving a Legacy for Your Loved Ones

 “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” - Pericles We are all leaving a legacy, whether we like it or not. Our persona...

Celebrate a Loved One’s Life with a Tree this Arbor Day

When a loved one passes, it can be difficult to find the best way to honor their memory. Planting a commemorative tree is a unique and touching tribute that will last for many lifetimes and serve a...