A Hospice Care Guide for Patients and Their Loved Ones

Hospice is a special kind of healthcare for patients with certified prognosis of 6 months or less — typically in the final stages of an incurable disease.

Since a cure is not feasible, the aim of hospice care is to manage the patient’s symptoms to keep them as comfortable as possible without making any hopeless attempts at curing the incurable. As a result, the patient gets to spend their last days with dignity and surrounded by people that care.

If that seems like something you want for yourself or a family member, here’s everything you need to know about hospice care — from what it covers to how it is financed. 

The Services Provided By Hospice Care

All hospice providers offer the following five services.

1. Comfort Care

Comfort care, or palliative care, looks at how the disease is affecting the patient’s life to find the best ways to relieve their symptoms, pain, and stress. Click on the link to find What’s the difference between hospice and palliative care.

To achieve that goal, a team of professionals is assigned to find out which care options will work best for managing all the mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual issues of the patient. Once the team has evaluated all possible options, they explain the pros and cons of each to the patient, allowing them and their family to take part in planning their care. 

2. Inpatient Hospice Care

Although hospice care is centered in your home where you’re the most comfortable, there are times when you need to be in a hospital or an inpatient hospice center.

When it’s time to go to a health center, your home hospice team arranges everything for the inpatient care, including transportation, dealing with the booking, and informing your family.

3. Spiritual Care

Since different people have different spiritual needs and religious beliefs, hospice care covers the expense of hiring professionals who can meet your specific needs.

The purpose of spiritual care is to put your mind at ease. So whether you need help saying goodbye, figuring out what death means to you, or conducting a spiritual ceremony, hospice will get you the right professional for the job.

4. Supervision and Coordination of Care

The hospice team supervises and coordinates all care services being provided to the patient 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So you can call them if you’re having a problem, any time of the day or night.

Furthermore, the team also ensures that all care providers share information with each other, including the inpatient facility, the doctor, and other community professionals like pharmacists and clergy.

5. Family Meetings

The hospice team organizes regular meetings, which are led by the hospice nurses or social workers, to keep family members informed about your condition.

During these meetings, everyone gets a chance to:

  • Learn about what’s happening and what’s needed.
  • Discuss the goals of care and plan strategies with the hospice nurses.
  • Share their feelings and give their suggestions on improving the quality of life of the patient.

How Hospice Care Is Financed

Hospice care is provided by several government programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid (in some states), and Veterans’ Administration (VA) benefits.

Besides government programs, hospice care is also financed by private and work-based insurance companies. Since there are different types of plans available that may or may not cover hospice services, it’s best to check in with your insurance provider.

Lastly, for people who don’t have insurance, some hospice organizations offer care at no cost or at a reduced rate based on your ability to pay.

If you live in Los Angeles County and are looking for a hospice care provider who will give you the help you need to get through this tough time, we are here to help.

At Hospice Valley of Los Angeles, we have only one goal: to make the patient’s life as comfortable as possible. We provide all the medication, therapy, and care required to help you live as fully as possible. 
To get a free in-home assessment, contact us here or give us a call at (818)433-0068.

Author: Frank Davis

Frank Davis has worked as a registered nurse for home health care and hospice agencies for over 10 years. He has the skills to deliver quality work and provide you with insights on the medical industry.

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