Many people don’t fully understand hospice services. In fact, to some people, hospice means a place that people go to die. Rather than a place, think of hospice is a system of compassionate and comprehensive care for people with life-limiting illness and their loved ones. Services may be provided at a hospice center, health care facility or in the home.
Hospice is not only for the individual who is ill; a hospice medical team creates an environment that helps families and seriously ill loved ones make the most of their time together.
Hospice provides supportive counseling for families and links them to needed resources. Hospice also reduces the financial burden for families. Both Medicare and Medicaid provide coverage for hospice care and most private insurances cover hospice services.
Even if hospice care is not an immediate need for you or your family, it is never too early to discuss future care needs. It helps to know if hospice may be the solution if you or a loved require care for a life-limiting illness before the need arises. Therefore, consider the following tips for questions to ask about a hospice center:
Will the hospice center provide care for me or my family member at home?
If receiving care at home, will I or my family s be able to contact hospice staff for in-home assistance if there is a 3:00 a.m. emergency?
How is the cost of care covered?
When hospice provides care at a facility what types of care will the patient receive?
What is expected of family members when hospice care is provided in the home?
In addition to these questions, you will want to know if the center has a good reputation. The hospice care center you choose should be able to provide references from families who have used the center’s services.