Finding the best Hospice Care for you or a loved one can be overwhelming as there seems to be a plethora of options available that all make different claims and offer different services. To help ease the stress of your search we have compiled a list of tips that will make finding the best hospice care a lot easier.
What is hospice? Before continuing onwards, it is important to know what hospice care actually is. Hospice care is a form of care that is for terminally ill patients, or for patients with a limited life expectancy. Its central aim is to make that patient as comfortable and as happy as possible, while also making sure that necessary medical steps are taken for the patient when they aren’t able to do it on their own.
What patient services are available? This question is essential when searching for the proper care provider. Although most hospice providers participate with Medicaid, meaning they all have the same essential services available, they differ in the extras they provide. Also, for those that do not participate with Medicaid may have different standards compared to other providers. It is imperative to be familiar with the type of care the hospice provides.
The team that provides the patient with care include the patient’s primary care doctor, a hospice doctor, nurses, home aids, and a social worker. If the patient requires some extra care in certain areas then they may receive that care through another therapist or physician that works for the hospice. This included speech, occupational, or physical therapy. Some hospice care centers have clergy who aims to support the patient spiritually if this is what the patient and family are looking for. In some instances trained volunteers may also assist, regardless all of the patient’s team members strive to support their patient as best they can.
To assess whether the services they offer are of quality or not, ask about certain qualifications that the staff has. Also, if the establishment is accredited then this is usually a sign that they are high quality. This is due to becoming accredited being a selective process. If the hospice care is a member of the National Hospice or Palliative Care Organizations, this is a sign they are high quality as these organizations set certain standards that members must meet. Asking around and getting other opinions is also very helpful.
What family support services are offered? This is something that puts other hospices above some. If the hospice offers care to the family as well as the patient, this is a good sign as this time can be sensitive and difficult on every one. This can include respite care, meaning the hospice provides a member of staff to relieve the primary caregiver. Ask about who this is and how often they come. Some family support services include bereavement services, which aim to support the family emotionally and offer grief services.
Where is care provided? It is important to know where the care will take place as some hospices only offer home care, inpatient care, in a hospital, or a other facility. When inquiring, make sure you are aware of where the nurses and actual care staff is located as sometimes they can be all over and not based at a single facility. This is due to a limited number of hospice care providers having their own impatient care. Where the nurses are and work affects how quickly they can be at you or your loved ones side, meaning this is important to know. Make sure their response time is suitable for your needs.
How much does it cost? Once assessing the types of services delivered, their qualifications, and their locations, it is important to know how much it costs and what is covered with that cost. Typically, Medicare and Medicaid pay for the cost of hospice care, as well as private insurers. With that said it is important to know what is covered by these insurances and how much it may cost if you don’t have these insurers.
Hopefully the tips outlined above has helped your search and has helped you narrow down the options. Remember, when talking to providers it is imperative to ask any and all questions you may have in order to get a full picture of whether they are right for your situation or not. Call us today as we are a top provider willing to field your questions and offer you the best support.