When is the right time for hospice? Many families wait too long to take advantage of this free benefit that complements home care services.
Below we debunk a few of the common misconceptions:
1) Your relative is actively dying. False. Two physicians must determine that your loved one has less than six months to live, if their illness would run its normal course.
2) There are no additional treatments. The client receives palliative care, that considers all aspects of their physical, emotional, and spiritual health. They may continue taking most medications, just cannot seek “extreme remedies”, such as chemotherapy. Currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Clients in the later stages of dementia, “Ruby” or “Pearl”, are usually eligible for hospice benefits.
3) Hospice is only for the client. The family also receives emotional and spiritual support.
4) All hospice clients die. Clients have “graduated” from hospice if their condition improves.
5) You lose benefits after six months. If clients survive for more than six months, they must seek eligibility again. We have also worked with clients who have used hospice services for many years.
6) You will have to get special medical equipment. Hospice is constantly evaluating the needs of your loved one. Almost anything that is needed can be provided by hospice and paid by Medicare. This is one of the best benefits!
7) Hospice must be provided at home. Although many families would prefer hospice services be given at home, hospice goes anywhere.
8) You must relinquish your other home care services. Hospice works best as a compliment to other support services. There is a maximum amount of hospice services per day, usually around two. Clients eligible for hospice usually also benefit from 24/7 care. Hospice aides and home care certified nursing assistants can work together to care for clients, especially with transferring those unable to get out of bed.
We always recommend that clients explore hospice service options, sooner rather than later. Hospice is a great resource to support the client and their family.
Want to learn more about home care services or hospice options?
Call us today at 610-323-9800.