What is hospice care?
Hospice care is a type of care that focuses on providing comfort and dignity to people with a terminal illness. It is not just about the end of life, but also about the quality of patients. Hospice care can be provided in the home, in nursing homes, or in hospitals.
The goal of hospice care is to provide patients with relief from pain and other symptoms so they can live as fully as possible until death.
Is it time for hospice?
Opting for a hospice service is not easy. Not only is it difficult to determine if it is the right time for hospice, but taking that call can be psychologically challenging.
However, it is not wise to wait till the patient’s condition worsens and he or she nears the last weeks of their life. To take full advantage of the care and support provided by Beta Hospice, the patient should start hospice care as early as possible. This will also help the family spend more quality time with their loved ones in their last days.
According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, most hospice patients suffer from the following medical conditions.
- Cardiac and circulatory diseases
- Respiratory diseases
If your loved one is suffering from any of the above conditions, here are some indicators that can help you determine if is time for hospice care:
- Continued weakness and loss of physical strength
- Unbearable pain
- Inability to move without assistance
- The patient requires assistance to bathe, dress, or use the bathroom
- Decreasing appetite
- Cognitive impairment, mumbling or incomprehensible speech
- Acute weight loss caused by the condition
- The patient always feels sleepy or withdrawn
- Regular visits to the hospital with little or no result
- The patient requires continuous attention and care
- When regular intervention of a medical professional becomes necessary
Besides the above-mentioned indicators, there may be some other reasons why opting for a hospice service may be advised. In case you are not sure, the qualified team of professionals at Beta Hospice will help you determine if it is time to call in hospice services.
Don’t shy away from getting in touch, we offer a free initial consultation to help you decide if you are ready to take up hospice services. Besides, the more we know about the patient, the better care plan we can draft for them.
Who pays for hospice care?
More often than not, patients and their families deny themselves the benefits of hospice care due to financial concerns. Many people are unaware, that most hospice patients are eligible for Medicare Hospice Benefits. In most cases, the patient has very little or no bill to foot as Medicare (Part A) covers 100% of the service, including nursing, medical supplies, equipment, patient care, etc.
Patients may also qualify for hospice care under Medicare and Medi-Cal besides private health insurance plans that cover hospice care. However, some private health insurance organizations may not cover certain expenses when the patient receives treatment in a nursing facility or a retirement home. This may include rent, nursing, or meals.
At Beta Hospice, we believe no one should lose out on quality care due to financial constraints. Get in touch with us today, our professional team can help draft out a suitable plan for you.
Who qualifies for hospice care?
As mentioned above, Hospice was created to care for patients with a life-limiting illness. The following are some of the conditions that qualify for hospice care:
• Heart disease
• Lung disease
• Kidney disease
• Liver disease
• Alzheimer’s Disease
However, other than the above cases, patients suffering from other diseases can also opt for Hospice care. An experienced team of Hospice professionals will be able to determine what level of care will best suit your needs.
How does hospice help?
Dealing with a terminal illness is not easy, both for patients as well as their family members. Hospice makes caring for a loved one easier and provides comfort and relief to the patient.
Through regular visits, constant observation, medication, and 24×7 nursing services, the hospice team is involved in the patient’s care, thus providing them and their loved ones much-needed respite and support.
The professional staff also share their experience, resources, and knowledge with the hospice patient’s caregivers to help them organize a more effective care plan for them.
What services does hospice provide?
Hospice services provide patients with all required medical supplies and equipment, such as medicines, oxygen machines, wheelchairs, diapers, wipes, etc. However, besides the above, a good Hospice service will also provide a wide variety of services, including:
• Symptom control and pain management
• Trained nurses
• Qualified staff and volunteers to assist in the care
• Counseling services
• Bereavement counseling
• Routine, continuous, respite and general inpatient care
• Spiritual care
• Domestic help
Among a host of other services and support as may be deemed necessary.
Who pays for hospice care?
Other Medicaid programs such as Medi-Cal, HMO, and many of the private insurance companies pay for a patient’s Hospice services.
How does hospice operate?
Hospice care is teamwork. After the professional medical team has met the patient and determined the level of care they will receive, the staff assigned will make regular visits to make sure that they are receiving the care prescribed. They will also monitor the symptoms and changes in the health condition of the patient and report to the physician about the same so he or she can supervise the treatment and make necessary changes if needed.
Throughout the care period, nurses, home aides, volunteers, social workers, and other members of the team will work with the patient and their family to help cope with the difficult time.
Since each patient’s requirements may differ, the number of people involved in the care, as well as the care level, will also vary.
Can we stop hospice once we start?
Once a patient opts for a Hospice service, he or she is not legally bound to continue availing the service permanently. Patients are at liberty to discontinue taking hospice services any time they wish and can recommence again at a later stage, should they wish to do so, provided they are still eligible for the same
Does Hospice Mean Giving Up Hope?
Not at all. Since Hospice is not a curative treatment, it does not slow down the drying process. However, it is not meant to help people die as early as possible either. Hospice services support patients to have a dignified life in their last days on earth while providing support and expert knowledge to their families.
Can I continue to see my primary care physician or specialist?
Certainly. A professional Hospice team always consults a patient’s primary doctor while drafting a care plan. This does not come as a replacement for your doctor but as an additional support system. Patients can continue to consult their primary physician through the care period.
Does hospice provide nursing care 24 hours a day?
Yes. At the recommendation of the medical professional or the request of the patient or their family, a 24×7 nurse may be assigned at the bedside to provide Continous Care. Besides, our office staff is also available round the clock to answer calls and provide the necessary assistance which may include sending equipment or a medical professional in case of an emergency.
Looking for hospice services?
Established in 2020, Beta Hospice is a community-based hospice agency that coordinates care for patients and their families. We work with several healthcare facilities and professionals to provide the best possible treatment to people living with a life-limiting illness.