The word hospice originates from an ancient Latin word which means “to be a guest”. It has evolved into many meanings over the years, but today the term hospice care refers to specialized medical care for people who are dying or who have a terminal illness. Hospice services in Santa Monica, CA are usually provided in the patient’s home, with their family, or in an assisted living facility. These programs offer pain relief and comfort to patients and their loved ones during this difficult time.

Pain, loss of appetite and sleep are common reasons why people may seek hospice care. Hospice care gives patients the opportunity to end their suffering at home instead of being sent to an intensive care unit or hospital. Hospice care in Santa Monica, CA is often more affordable than it would be while hospitalized, and the medical treatments given in hospice will help people die with dignity.

Patient with family receiving hospice care in Santa Monica, CA

What is Hospice Care?

Hospice care in Santa Monica, CA is a means of providing palliative or supportive health care for patients who are dying. The patient or their family can receive very specialized medical treatment at home in addition to pain management and comfortable accommodations to make dying easier. Hospice services may offer pain relief, emotional support and comfort to patients and their loved ones during this difficult time. The goal of hospice care is to provide comfort and pain relief, not cure.

Who is the Hospice Team?

The hospice team in Santa Monica, CA consists of a group of healthcare specialists who provide the patient or their family with a specific variety of services during the end-of-life process. The team may consist of doctors, nurses, therapists, chaplains and other caregivers who help the family with hospice medications and home care. Hospice services are usually provided in the patient’s home, with their family, or in an assisted living facility. The hospice team communicates with the patient’s family about their health care needs, treatments and procedures. At the end of life, the hospice team works to help people die with the stress and symptoms.

Hospice care may involve the following:

  • Providing pain relief medicines, including pain medications and medications to treat symptoms of pain like nausea, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.
  • Eating assistance may be needed for those who are unable to eat. Additionally, drugs are given to help with nausea or vomiting related to poor appetite or dying.
  • Sleeping aids may be needed for those who have severe pain or discomfort that prevents them from sleeping.
  • Caregiver support and advice on how to talk with the patient about dying.
  • Chaplain or spiritual assistance for those who are looking for prayer and religious assistance at the end of life.
  • Family support groups where caregivers can share concerns and get advice from people who have been through this experience.

Hospice care in Santa Monica, CA is not designed to cure or prevent death. Hospice care aims to provide comfort and pain relief, not cure. Hospice patients are not expected to live longer than six months. As a result, many hospice centers focus on providing emotional, physical and spiritual support to the patient and their loved ones. Hospice workers provide support by helping patients cope with the stress of dying and with other issues that may arise.

Hospice care in Santa Monica, CA is for those who want to live out their final days at home instead of being admitted into a hospital or other facility. Family members who choose hospice care are often comforted by the opportunity to provide end-of-life care at home. As a result, many hospice centers focus on providing comfort and quality care for patients and their loved ones. Hospice workers provide compassionate care by helping people cope with the stress of dying and by offering quality advice to the family.

How much does hospice cost?

Hospice is covered generally by Medicare and Medicaid and some private health insurance companies. Because hospice care is covered by most health insurance plans, out-of-pocket expenses are often limited or waived entirely. It is important to discuss payment arrangements before starting hospice care to ensure that the patient and their family can afford the services they will need during the end of their life.

How to Qualify for hospice?

At the end of life, many people are at a point where they know their health is declining and they are no longer able to care for themselves. In this situation, it is appropriate for the patient or family to seek out hospice services. Families that wish to continue living with their loved one can begin discussions with hospice services about the possibility of starting hospice care. Hospice in Santa Monica, CA may be an option for those who are terminally ill and have no longer felt comfortable in their own home since suffering from a terminal illness.

For Medicare beneficiaries and some private health insurance plans, hospice eligibility is based upon an evaluation by a primary care doctor who will ask about end-of-life preferences and health conditions. For patients without a physician, they may find a primary care doctor to conduct their evaluation. The doctor will look at the patient’s medical records and make a recommendation based on the patient’s current health status, prognosis and wishes. Once accepted into the hospice program, the family will be required to inform any other doctors of their decision to seek hospice services.

Hospice care in Santa Monica, CA is a compassionate and supportive service that can help people who are suffering from severe illness and terminal condition to die at home. Many patients prefer hospice care because of the comfort provided, which can make living their last days easier than in an intensive care unit. If a patient has a family member who is suffering from a terminal illness, it is important for the family to speak with a doctor about hospice care options. For information on hospice care please call Hospice Valley of Los Angeles at (747) 755-5181.