Preparing for the end of life is never easy. There are many things your loved one will have to take care of, including financial and legal documentation, addressing the emotions of death, and taking in precious final moments with friends and family. One of the questions we often receive is, “when is a person ready for hospice?”
Hospice patients’ situations vary so much that it is impossible to give an exact time when to transition to hospice care, but here is some information you can use to ensure that your loved one has the most quality care possible at the end of his or her life.
Hospice eligibility is different for every individual, but the common factors for hospice care coverage under the Medicare Hospice Benefit Program are:
- A doctor recently diagnosed the patient with a terminal illness (i.e. cancer, heart failure, dementia, etc.)
- The patient’s current medical physician and hospice medical director can certify to confirm that the patient has a projected life expectancy of six months or less.
How to Transition to Hospice Care
Speak with a doctor.
If your loved one is battling an illness, doesn’t improve or chooses to forego lifesaving treatments, speak with a healthcare professional. Your doctor will give you his or her best estimation and advice on how to proceed. If your loved one has six months or less to live, contact a hospice care provider immediately.
Research different hospice options.
Understanding what hospice care is and how it will help your loved one is crucial to validating the decision to move into end-of-life care. Unfortunately, hospice care has developed a negative stigma and there are a lot of myths about what it means for those who receive it. Research can help to clear up most of these misconceptions.
Choose where to receive hospice care.
Depending on what level of care your loved one requires and personal preference, a hospice patient may elect to reside at an inpatient facility or remain at home.
Choose a care provider.
Check with the health insurance provider to see what your loved one’s plan covers. There are excellent non-profit and for-profit choices available. If your loved one is unable to afford hospice care, for whatever reason, non-profits will work with you to provide excellent care at little to no cost.
Receive comprehensive end of life care.
An excellent hospice care provider will give your loved one and all caregivers and family members top-quality service as well.
Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Contact Hospice Care
Many of the patients we’ve seen over the years have had a singular thought: “we should have contacted hospice care sooner.” This sentiment is due to the truth about hospice care; it helps individuals to feel better and live to the fullest. Hospice can help extend and fill a patient’s days with more life.
If you have any questions about the transition to hospice care or would like more information, contact us at Crown Hospice of Cape Girardeau or Crown Hospice of Poplar Bluff today. Our friendly staff members would be happy to help you and your loved one fill their days with more life.