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Your Hospice Questions Answered

Your Hospice Questions Answered

May 24, 2021

People often react negatively to the initial mention of hospice because they do not fully understand it. Hospice is quality, compassionate care for people with a disease or condition that cannot be cured. The medical, emotional and spiritual support of hospice improves quality of life by creating a more comfortable environment for the patient and their loved ones.

The goal of hospice care is to relieve suffering and promote quality of life. Below are answers to common questions about hospice care.

Who is eligible for hospice care?

Hospice care is appropriate for patients who are diagnosed with a terminal illness or condition with a prognosis of six months or less made by a doctor and the hospice medical director. At times, illness does not run its normal course and patients may be eligible for hospice services for periods longer than six months.

Who decides when it’s time for hospice?

The decision is ultimately up to the patient or designated decision-maker. Your care team can answer questions to help you make the best decision for you or your loved one.

How long can someone be on hospice?

There is no designated amount of time a person can remain on hospice. The patient’s medical condition is regularly reviewed to ensure they still meet the requirements for hospice.

Who provides hospice care?

Each hospice team consists of nurses, social workers, home health aides, spiritual counselors and volunteers who provide care under the direction of a medical director.

What services are provided?

Hospice care encompasses an array of services meant to support patients’ medical, emotional and spiritual needs, including:

  • Nursing care and home health aides

  • Medical equipment and supplies

  • Medications and therapies

  • Social services and spiritual support

  • Bereavement services

  • 24-hour health line

Where is hospice provided?

Hospice can be provided in multiple settings such as the home, assisted living facilities and skilled nursing facilities.

What are the benefits of hospice?

Hospice care provides patients and their loved ones with many benefits that can relieve suffering and promote quality of life. These include:

  • Personalized care in comfortable surroundings, often provided in the patient’s own home

  • Prioritized goals for care

  • Respect for the individual and their wishes

  • Care and support for the family

  • Greater contentment and reduced anxiety

How is hospice care paid for?

Hospice is a special benefit often fully covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many private health insurances. Most people receiving hospice care are covered by the Medicare hospice benefit, which covers virtually all aspects of hospice care with minimal out-of-pocket expense to the patient or family.

Does hospice mean giving up?

No. Hospice ensures the patient has the highest possible quality of life by keeping them as comfortable and pain-free as possible in the time they have left.

Hospice care at Charter

We know making decisions about your health or the health of a loved one can be overwhelming. At Charter, we pride ourselves on helping patients and families understand and navigate their health care options so you can feel confident your needs will be met. If you have questions about hospice care, call (909) 644-4965.