How Are Hospice Patients Cared For?
Care for hospice patients may include medicine, but this is only to reduce symptoms, not with the intent to cure any illness. Typically, patients are cared for by their family members, with additional supervision from highly qualified professionals, such as doctors, nurses and aides.
Where Is Hospice Care Provided?
This will depend on the specific needs of the terminally ill individual and their family: for many, this will be at home. Interim Hospice most frequently provides care in patients’ homes however, care can also be provided in nursing homes and senior living residences including independent and assisted living.
If a patient needs care beyond what is provided at home, Interim Hospice has relationships with local hospitals and other facilities. If there is a crisis that must be addressed, Interim supports the individual and his or her family as they transition back to their home. Hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance.
Who Is Eligible for Hospice Services?
Under Medicare rules, patients may enroll in hospice if they meet certain criteria depending on their illness. When determining eligibility for hospice, a doctor must certify that the patient is terminally ill, with a life expectancy of six months or less if the disease runs its expected course. The hospice medical director must agree with the doctor’s assessment.
Three (3) primary situations precede a doctor recommending hospice care:
1. Lack of improvement. Despite treatment, the patient’s condition isn’t improving. The person isn’t feeling better and the illness has progressed to end-stage disease.
2. Goals of care have changed. For instance, often a patient realizes they are not getting better and doesn’t want to be in a hospital or go to a hospital anymore. Someone who’s becoming more and more anxious about the prospect of dying might also be referred for hospice care.
3. Acute health events. Patients who suffer from an acute event, like a heart attack or stroke, may require end-of-life care.
Could Your Loved One Benefit from Hospice Care?
If you’re ready to take the next step and start talking to your loved one about the possibility of hospice care, consider reaching out to Interim HealthCare. Our hospice services offer a full range of support that is delivered by highly qualified professionals who share the same commitment to meeting the complex needs of patients and their families.
Want to learn more? In this guide we dispel common myths and break down the stigma around hospice, helping you to decide if hospice could be the right fit for your loved one and your family.