The Questions Families Want To Know About Hospice
Choosing to enroll in hospice can be a difficult decision. There are a variety of factors families must consider when looking into hospice care. Researching hospice can feel overwhelming at times, and sometimes it feels like we don’t even know where to start with so much left to the unknown. That is why we have compiled some of the most frequent questions we receive regarding hospice care into a quick reference sheet to help alleviate some of the stress that may come with exploring the care options at end of life.
- What is hospice and how does one qualify to receive hospice care?
This is one of the first questions we often receive. To simplify the definition, hospice care is care that concentrates on maximizing the quality of life and promoting comfort and dignity for the individuals who are experiencing advanced, life-limiting illness. Qualifying for hospice includes a physician determination that an individual likely has six months or less to live if a terminal illness ran it’s natural course.
At Honor Hospice we deliver this care utilizing a team approach. Our team includes physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual care counselors, hospice aides, homemakers, therapists and more. Learn more about our care team by visiting the services page. We provide extensive education to each member of our team on an ongoing basis to ensure we are always using the most up to date information to provide the best possible care for you and your family.
- What are the first steps to receiving hospice care?
The first step to receiving hospice care is a referral. Anyone can refer an individual to Honor Hospice by using our referral form, completing our contact form for more information, or calling us directly at 734-470-3901. If you have a primary care physician, we may contact them with your consent to ensure the prognosis and certify eligibility for hospice care.
During an initial conversation our nurses will answer any questions you may have, gather background information, and may set up a time for an initial assessment. The initial assessment will focus on answering any additional questions, learning what aspects of life are important to you, determining eligibility to receive hospice care, assisting with care planning, evaluating your needs and desires, and introducing you to the various services that are available to you through hospice.
- When is the right time to look into hospice?
Review our eligibility guidelines to ask yourself some common questions that may help you make the decision to look into hospice. The decision may be made when available treatments no longer can cure the disease, or the symptoms of treatment may outweigh the benefits to the individual. As hospice offers a great amount of comfort and support, many families wish they had enrolled in hospice sooner.
If you are unsure if you or a loved one may qualify for hospice care, we would be happy to discuss care options with you. We offer free nursing assessments to your location to discuss care options and complete an assessment to review if hospice may be the best option.
- Who cares for me when I enroll in hospice?
Each family we work with is assigned a nurse case manager that helps with care coordination. They are the main nurse that works with you and helps guide care. They will connect you with the other team members that may be visiting you in your location of residence assisting in providing care. Routinely used team members of Honor Hospice include social workers, spiritual care counselors, and hospice aides. Hospice is primarily a visiting service to the home and family and friends provide a majority of the care. Our social work team is helpful in connecting with care resources and assisting in care planning. Read our blog post, “Preparing for Aging Parents” for more information on things to consider.
Our multidisciplinary team works together to provide care that treats the whole person, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Our goal is to improve quality of life and assure you or your loved one can live to the fullest.
- Where is hospice care provided?
Hospice care can be delivered in whatever setting you call home. Hospice care has traditionally been provided in the home setting, which is true for many of our patients, we also serve patients in a multitude of settings like assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, apartments, group homes, senior living communities and more.
- What is after hours availability?
We have nurses and administrative staff on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. We know that questions and needs may arise outside of “normal business hours” and that is why we are constantly ready to assist. We pride ourselves on our quick response times because we treat those we serve as if they were our own family members. Our team understands the urgency of questions and needs, no matter what time of day they occur.
- How is hospice care paid for?
Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, as well as most private insurances. Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE will fully cover the costs of medications, medical equipment, medical supplies, and for the care provided by the hospice team related to the hospice diagnosis. Most private insurances follow Medicare in their reimbursements and requirements for eligibility for hospice care. Private pay is an option if an individual does not have insurance, or if the individual’s insurance does not fully cover the full cost of hospice. Our team will also work with the uninsured to connect with resources so that you do not have to worry about not receiving hospice due to lack of money.
Speak With a Nurse Today!
We understand choosing hospice is one of the most important decisions you may make. Our nurses are here to support you and answer all of your questions!
We understand you may still have questions, which is completely normal, and we are here for you. As mentioned, we have nurses on call 24/7 to answer any questions and act as a resource for any questions you may have about hospice, care planning, or Honor Hospice. Get in touch with our team today for assistance, we would love to help you or a loved one to ensure you have all of your questions answered.