At HomeAide Home Care we specialize in caregiver services and provide non-medical support to our clients. However, our expert caregivers often support hospice care teams in helping make your loved one’s last days as comfortable as possible.
What Is Hospice Care?
Hospice is a type of in-home or residential care for patients with life ending illnesses. Hospice care seeks to support the patient and family through this difficult time while keeping the patient comfortable and managing his or her pain. Hospice care is patient and family oriented and uses a different approach than traditional medical care. The goal of hospice care is to provide a pain free and dignified death while minimizing symptoms of illness. Hospice care does not try to extend or shorten life, but to make what is left of it pleasant and livable.
How Does a Patient Get Hospice Care?
Hospice care is designed or patients who have six months or less to live. A patient must be referred to hospice by a doctor for the care to be covered by insurance. Once a referral is made, most hospice programs are able to make contact with the patient and family and can begin to provide a full range of services.
Where is Hospice Provided?
These types of programs where created to allow patients to live their last days at home, in comfort, with their family present. Specially trained hospice workers visit the home on a regular basis and immediate support and advice is always available by phone. Even though the care is based out of the home, hospice programs maintain relationships with hospitals so that a patient who needs temporary hospital care can be transferred to a hospital and then returned home while under hospice care.
All though hospice programs started out being mainly in the home, they have expanded and can usually provide care in a nursing home, hospital or other facility. Some hospices maintain their own residential facilities for patents that can’t be cared for at home.
Who is the Hospice Team?
Hospice works as a team to provide care. A family member is designated as the team leader and works with doctors, nurses, aides, therapists, counselors and other health care workers to provide well-rounded care and support. Hospice workers seek to care for the patient and the family as one unit. Hospice care does not end with the death of the patient. Bereavement counseling is provided for at least one year after the death. Hospice programs also offer respite care, allowing family caregivers free time, while the patient is cared for by other team members.
Who Pays for Hospice Care?
Private insurance and Medicaid cover hospice care. Medicare offers some coverage. To be eligible for Medicare coverage, a patient must be certified as terminally ill with six or less months to live. A Medicare approved hospice program must provide care. The coverage includes medical staff care, medication, brief hospital stays, in home health aides, social workers and family therapists. While receiving hospice care, the patent cannot receive treatment for the disease.
Where Can I Get More Information?
Start with the National Hospice Foundation’s website at nationalhospicefoundation.org. There you’ll find information about programs, tips for caregivers and resources for dealing with end of life situations.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization can be found at nhpco.org, and provides extensive articles and planning worksheets to help you make the best of your hospice care program.
Need Non-Medical Support from HomeAide Home Care?
Give us call at (510) 247-1200, we’ll be happy to discuss if our services are right for you and your loved ones.