Click the questions below to reveal each answer.
Who is appropriate for hospice care?
Typically, someone who has a life limiting illness and approximately six months or less to live is considered appropriate for hospice care.
Does hospice care for only cancer patients?
No. Hospice cares for patients with any terminal illness. This can include AIDS, chronic lung disease, kidney failure, end-stage heart disease to name a few.
When should a decision about entering a hospice program be made, and who should make it?
It is appropriate to discuss all of a patient’s care options at any time during a life limiting illness. By law, the decision belongs to the patient.
Who makes the referral to hospice?
Referral may be made by the patient’s physician, a hospital discharge planner, nursing home staff, family member or the patient.
What are the benefits of hospice care?
- Special attention is given to the patient’s family.
- There is a focus on assuring quality of life through support and proper medications to relieve symptoms.
- Hospice does not hasten death; it focuses on living life to the fullest.
- A team of health professionals care for the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of the patient and family.
- Bereavement support is offered to the family for up to 13 months after the patient has died.
What does the hospice admission involve?
After a referral is made, the Patient Care Coordinator will contact the patient and family to schedule an information or assessment visit as soon as possible – usually within 24 hours. A Hospice Admission nurse will make an initial visit to assess the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of both the patient and family. The nurse will provide informational materials and explain the full range of hospice services available. If the patient qualifies for hospice care and has critical care needs, the Admission Nurse will make immediate arrangements to meet these needs.
Is hospice care limited to patients who are homebound and/or bedfast?
No – not at all. Patients are encouraged to be as active as possible. This can include dinning out, keeping hair appointments – whatever the patient can do that adds to the quality of his or her life.
Is the home the only place hospice care can be delivered?
No. Hospice care can be delivered wherever the patient resides, whether that is his or her personal residence, an assisted living facility or a nursing home.
Is there any special equipment or changes I have to make in my home before hospice care can begin?
Your hospice nurse will assess your needs and recommend any necessary equipment and help make arrangements to obtain it. The cost of this equipment is covered by the Medicare Hospice Benefit and most private insurance.
Who cares for the patient at home?
While family and friends must be relied on to give most of the care, hospices do provide home health aides as needed to assist with the patient’s personal needs as well as volunteers to assist with errands and provide short breaks away from the home for major caregivers.
Can a patient who shows signs of recovery be returned to regular medical care?
Yes. If a patient’s condition improves and he or she no longer meets the hospice criteria, they are discharged from hospice care.
How is hospice care paid for?
Hospice care is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance carriers. At Hospice of Miami County, no one is denied care because of a lack of funds to pay for services.
What does Medicare cover?
- Physician services
- Nursing care
- Medical supplies appropriate to the terminal illness
- Drugs for symptom management and pain relief
- Short-term inpatient and respite care
- Home health aide services
- Physical and other therapies as appropriate
- Chaplain services
Does hospice care mean “giving up hope?”
Even when a cure for an illness is no longer probable, there is hope for comfort care, hope for quality time with family, and hope for getting one’s “affairs in order.”
If a person wants additional information, what should they do?
Additional information can be obtained by calling Hospice of Miami County at 937-335-5191. A nurse will be glad to discuss your concerns or make an informational home visit.
Is there a fee to utilize the Generations of Life Bereavement Center resources?
The Generations of Life Center is a service of Hospice of Miami County and its services are provided, free-of-charge, to all children, teens, and adults in the greater Miami county area. There does not need to be any prior Hospice of Miami County connection for someone to utilize our services. The Generations of Life Center can be reached directly by calling (937) 573-2100 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization: www.nhpco.org
Ohio Hospice and Palliative Care Organization: www.ohpco.org
Hospice Foundation of America: www.hospicefoundation.org
International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care: www.hospicecare.com