When and by whom should a decision about entering a hospice program be made?
At any time during a life-limiting illness, it’s appropriate to discuss all care options, including hospice. The patient has control regarding the decision for his or her health care.
Should I wait for our physician to raise the possibility of hospice?
The patient and family should feel free to discuss hospice at any time with their physician, other health care professionals, clergy or friends. A family member can ask their physician for a referral to hospice.
How difficult is it to care for a dying loved one at home?
At the end of a long, progressive illness, nights especially can be long, lonely and scary. Hospice staff is always available to family and will make night visits if requested.
What assistance is provided to home-based patients?
Physicians, nurses, social workers, home health aides, chaplains and volunteers make up the care team. Hospice provides medications, supplies and equipment related to the diagnosis as well as inpatient care and respite care for caregivers.
Does hospice make death come sooner?
Hospice provides comfort care and symptom management to support quality of life - not to hasten the end of life.
Is home the only place hospice delivers care?
Some patients live in assisted living facilities, long-term care centers or hospice inpatient facilities/units or suites.
Is hospice affiliated with any religious organizations?
Hospice is not an offshoot of any religion. Religious organizations that have started a hospice serve a broad community and do not require adherence to any particular set of beliefs.
Is the care covered by insurance?
Hospice coverage is provided by Medicare, Medicaid and most health insurance. Hospice will assist families in identifying their eligibility for coverage. Medicare and insurance companies cover services and supplies related to a terminal illness.
Do friends and family receive help after the patient dies?
Hospice provides contact and support for family and friends for at least one year following the death of a loved one. Hospice of East Texas also sponsors bereavement and support groups.
Source: Hospice of East Texas