So what is hospice and when should you call?
Hospice is a program of care and support for people who are terminally ill. Here are some important facts about hospice:
■ Hospice helps people who are terminally ill live comfortably.
■ Hospice isn’t only for people with cancer.
■ The focus is on comfort, not on curing an illness.
■ A specially trained team of professionals and caregivers provide care for the “whole person,” including physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs.
■ Services typically include physical care, counseling, drugs, equipment, and supplies for the terminal illness and related conditions.
■ Care is generally provided in the home.
■ Family caregivers can get support.
In the United States, hospice eligibility, services, and standards are governed by the Medicare certification process and Medicare hospice benefit. For a patient to enroll in hospice, the attending physician and hospice medical director must certify that the person’s illness is terminal and the prognosis is less than six months if the illness takes its natural course. Patients entering hospice care must also agree to forgo any treatments intended to cure the illness.
Hospice patients receive visits from nurses, volunteers, social workers, bath aides and even chaplains. Medication is still administered for pain as needed and for on-going conditions. Everything is done to make the patient as comfortable as possible.
If you feel your loved one is nearing the end of their life do not wait to contact a local hospice team. They are there to help and you will be glad you did. Studies have shown that patients receiving hospice care not only report higher quality of life and satisfaction, but actually live longer than similar patients receiving potent curative treatments (Connor et al. 2007; Tennel et al. 2010).
Please call the team at Rather Be Home if you would like help taking care of your loved one in Canton, Ohio at 330-526-0483.
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