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Hospice care is a familiar term to many people, but most people do not know exactly how hospice works. If you have never had personal experience with hospice services, you might wonder exactly what it is and who is eligible. If you are faced with making end-of-life decisions, either for yourself or a loved one, you may feel overwhelmed and confused. Don’t worry. We have the answers to your questions, and we can explain to you how hospice works.

Defining Hospice

What exactly is hospice? You may already know that it is a treatment for those facing a terminal illness, but it is actually much more than that. Hospice is a philosophy of care focused on easing pain, discomfort, and distress for patients with life-limiting illnesses. Rather than just treating physical symptoms, hospice looks at patients holistically, helping them physically, emotionally, and spiritually with a team of professionals working together to meet each unique patient’s needs while respecting their wishes.

At the beginning of hospice care, the patient’s care team will coordinate all the necessary medication, hospital equipment, and supplies, handling the ordering, delivery, and set up. Once everything is in place, the team will explain it to the patient and family caregivers so that they will understand what everything is and know how to properly use it.

A hospice team is made up of physicians, nurses, social workers, hospice aides, and more, to help the patient and his or her family navigate this difficult time. The team is there to support the patient’s wants and needs, helping them to live the best life possible. The hospice care team is also there for the family, helping family members during the care process and providing support to them during treatment and after their loved one’s passing.

Determining Eligibility

Hospice care is designed to improve the quality of life of people who are facing serious, life-limiting medical conditions requiring daily support and assistance. Most of the people served by hospice providers have medical conditions like cancer, heart disease, COPD (emphysema), or advanced dementia. People become eligible when they have this kind of illness and curative treatment is no longer the best option, whether it is not working or the patient refuses to continue it. If you think you or your loved one might be eligible for hospice care, the best course of action is to call Agape Hospice NW anytime day or night at (503) 628-9595.

When to Consider Hospice

Sometimes, people wait until the final days or weeks of a person’s life to call for hospice care. Often, these people regret waiting so long, but at the time they were unaware that their loved one could have received care much earlier. If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, is falling frequently, visiting the ER often, cannot seem to perform daily tasks, is losing weight and suffering skin tears, infections, or other signs of failing health, or is experiencing changes in mental abilities, it may be time to discuss hospice.

Can a Patient Choose to Stop Hospice Care?

When a patient is under hospice care, the ultimate goal is to provide comfort and improve the quality of life for the patient, rather than cure the illness. However, hospice care is always a patient-driven and voluntary decision, which means that the patient has the right to choose whether to start or stop hospice care. The decision to stop hospice care may be difficult, but it should be respected as it is the patient’s prerogative to choose what is best for them. If a patient chooses to stop hospice care, the hospice team will work closely with them to ensure a smooth transition while also respecting the patient’s wishes. It is important to remember that hospice care is about enhancing the patient’s quality of life and respecting their autonomy in their medical decisions.

How to Pay for Hospice

When a loved one is nearing the end of their life, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is finances. The hospice benefit allows you and your family to stay together in the comfort of your home and is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. This means that for those who are eligible, hospice care is completely free. With Agape Hospice NW our patients and families pay no out-of-pocket costs such as copays or deductibles. Our social workers help families navigate insurance coverage and financial assistance programs to make sure that finances are not a barrier to receiving the care and support they need during this difficult time.

For Answers to Your Hospice Care Questions, Trust Agape Hospice NW

If you are looking for compassionate hospice care for your loved one, Agape Hospice NW is a wonderful option. Accredited by The Joint Commission, Agape strives to help our patients to live the remainder of their lives to the fullest, by improving the quality of life not only for our patients but also for their families. The Joint Commission is nationally recognized as the gold standard in health care, and Agape has met the organization’s enhanced requirements for patient safety and quality of care. We provide social workers, spiritual counselors, volunteers, bereavement counselors, and certified hospice aides, all under the direction of a medical director who is responsible for ensuring that the patient’s wishes are honored, and each patient is receiving the highest level of care. We also provide registered nurses experienced in helping during this emotional time, as well as assessing the needs of the patient. For more information about how we can help, call (503) 628-9595 or contact us through our website.