When is it time for Hospice?
Now is the best time to learn more about hospice and ask questions about what to expect from hospice services. Although end-of-life care may be difficult to discuss, it is best for family members to share their wishes long before it becomes a concern. This can greatly reduce stress when the time for hospice is needed. By having these discussions in advance, patients are not forced into uncomfortable situations. Instead, patients can make an educated decision that includes the advice and input of family members and loved ones.
Who is eligible for care with Comfort Care Hospice?
A patient may be eligible for hospice when the attending physician and the hospice medical director certify that the patient has a prognosis of six months or less should the disease process run its normal course.
Who Pays for Hospice Care?
Hospice is covered by most major insurance including, Medicare, Medicaid/Medi-Cal, and other private insurance. This includes medical equipment and illness-related medications.
Should I wait for our physician to suggest hospice or should I bring it up first?
The patient and family should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with their physician, other health care professionals, clergy or friends.
What does Comfort Care Hospice process involve?
One of the first things we do is contact the patient’s physician to make sure he or she agrees that hospice care is appropriate for this patient. (Most hospices have medical staff available to help patients who have no physician). The patient will be asked to sign the consent forms when able. If the patient is unable to sign the consent forms due to his/her physical condition, then another family member or DPOA for Health Care will be asked to sign. The hospice consent form from Medicare and Medicaid/Medi-Cal also explains how electing the hospice benefit may affect other coverage.
Is there any special equipment to buy or changes I have to make in my home before hospice care begins?
Comfort Care Hospice will assess, recommend, and help make arrangements to obtain any necessary equipment. In general, hospice will assist in any way it can to make home care as convenient, clean, and safe as possible.
Can a hospice patient who shows signs of recovery go off hospice and resume regular medical treatment?
Absolutely! If the patient’s condition improves and the disease does not seem to be worsening, patients can be discharged from Comfort Care Hospice and return to more aggressive treatment or go on about their daily lives. If the discharged patient should later need to return to hospice care Medicare, Medicaid/Medical and/or private insurance will allow additional hospice coverage for this purpose.
Does hospice do anything to make death come sooner?
Hospice neither hastens nor postpones dying. Hospice provides its presence and specialized knowledge during the dying process.
How does hospice manage pain?
Comfort Care Hospice believes that emotional and spiritual pain are just as real and in need of attention as physical pain, so it can address each. Comfort Care Hospice Skilled Nurses and Physicians are up to date on the latest medications for pain and symptom management. In addition Spiritual Counselors and Social Workers are available as needed to address the emotional and spiritual pain experienced by the patient and family.
Does Hospice provide help to the family after the patient dies?
Hospice provides continuing contact and support for caregivers for at least a year following the death of a loved one. Most hospices also sponsor bereavement groups and support for anyone in the community who has experienced a death of a family member, a friend, or similar losses.
How difficult is caring for a dying loved one at home?
Caring for a dying loved one at home can be quite difficult but Comfort Care Hospice provides services around the clock to manage the experience.