Making the decision to move to hospice care is a significant decision for any family. It is not uncommon for people to think of it as care that someone receives because their loved one has reached the end of their life and life-sustaining treatment is no longer beneficial. While the primary purpose of hospice is to provide care for patients at the end of their life, hospice care is so much more than patient care at the end of life. Here is how Hospice Valley looks at hospice care.
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice care involves care from multiple disciplines. It is focused on the patients and their needs as an individual. At its core, hospice focuses on providing patients a better quality of life at this stage of living. This involves making patients comfortable and doing what is possible to help them live each and every day to the fullest. This is the commitment we make to each patient who comes to Hospice Valley for hospice care.
Patients receive hospice care in different settings that include:
- A hospice center
- Long-term care facility like a nursing home or assisted living facility
- Patient’s home
Hospice Valley provides services to clients at their homes most often. It is important to note that professionals in hospice care do not cure illnesses. Their sole focus is to support the patient and family as well as treat their symptoms and minimize complications from the disease.
Why Do People Enter Hospice?
People enter hospice for different reasons. Common hospice diagnosis are cancer, Alzheimer’s, or late-stage heart, kidney, or lung disease. It is considered the next step in care once a patient’s illness has reached a point where it is no longer able to be cured or is life-limiting.
This is why the two main qualifying situations for hospice are:
- The patient has 6 months or less to live.
- Having an illness that is life-limiting and the patient is no longer interested in receiving curative treatment.
What Happens When People Receive Hospice Care?
When a patient and their family decide that they want to pursue hospice care, the patient’s primary doctor will order that care and refer the patient to a hospice provider of their choice. As part of that process, the doctor will certify that their patient meets the requirements outlined above. This certification is what insurance companies rely on to provide coverage for hospice care. In most cases, hospice care is completely covered by medicare or insurance.
As soon as hospice care begins, Hospice Valley will create an individualized care plan for the patient. This includes medication to help make the patient as comfortable as possible and provide them with the support that they need emotionally, physically, and psychosocially. This support also extends to the patient’s family members.
What Does Hospice Cover?
Hospice care provides a comprehensive care plan that includes control of symptoms, family support, stress management, pain management, and mental health support. These vital features of hospice are meant to help patients live a fuller life while providing them with the support that they need for the transition ahead.
Hospice care also involves providing critical support to a patient’s family. At Hospice Valley, we are here to support families as well as patients. We give family members updates on their loved one’s condition, answer any questions they might have, and let them know what to expect during their loved one’s journey in hospice.
Hospice provides support for patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This includes directing care and offering care. Hospice team members also help patients and their families make decisions about end-of life care. Respite care can also be provided to give caregivers in the home a break. Some hospice providers also offer bereavement support and help coordinate communication with funeral directors after a patient’s death.
Hospice Care vs. Palliative Care
Palliative care is often offered as a part of hospice care, but it is often confused with being the same thing. It is not. Palliative care is intended to manage the symptoms of a patient’s disease and may be used in conjunction with curative treatments. Hospice care is intended to relieve symptoms and minimize the complications of the disease.
If you are seeking hospice care for yourself or for a loved one in the Los Angeles, CA area, contact Hospice Valley of Los Angeles at (818)433-0068. Our team of hospice care experts will be happy to walk you through the process of obtaining and receiving hospice care.
What Services does Hospice Care Offer?
- Medications – they are provided by Hospice Valley and delivered to your home.
- Equipment – Hospital beds, Oxygen, Ventilators, Bi-Pap, C-pap machines, Wheelchairs, Walkers, Crutches, Blood pressure monitors, Hoyer lifts
- Medical Supplies – Feeding tubes, Gauze, Catheters, Needles & Syringes, Bedpans, incontinence supplies
- Medical Staff – Doctors, Nurses, Counselors, Social Workers, Pharmacists, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech-language pathologists, health aides