Home Health and Hospice
How To Find An In-Home Hospice Care Provider
Finding a hospice provider is just one of the many steps that a loved one and primary caregiver face in the final months of life expectancy. The challenge of having a conversation with your loved one about their end-of-life options is a difficult burden to face.
Finding the right in-home hospice for your loved one requires diligence. Work with your loved one’s primary doctor to create a care plan that guides both you and your loved one through this difficult process. This care plan will help lay the foundation for the type of hospice required and the level of assistance that is needed. Involve your loved one in the process as much as possible. How would they like to be treated in the final months?
Your loved one must sign a document accepting hospice. Many hospice providers will not work with your loved one until all of the paperwork is in place. By signing this agreement, the patient is foregoing advanced treatment to cure the disease or life-threatening injury and opting to receive end-of-life quality care that seeks to comfort the patient and their family in the final months of life.
Keep in mind that the hospice provider must be Medicare certified in order for the patient to receive Medicare benefits. Although additional hospice certifications are not required, it is definitely an indication of the quality of service that the hospice provider intends to give and can help you narrow down a quality hospice provider.
Sort through the approved hospice providers and narrow down your loved one’s needs. When a patient opts for hospice, it changes the direction from pursuing an aggressive treatment approach to allowing the life-threatening disease to run its course while keeping the patient as comfortable as possible. Does he or she require cancer pain management? Although chemotherapy is no longer an option when your loved one elects hospice, there are several other caregiving options that will help alleviate the pain caused by the cancer.
Your family and friends may already have a hospice provider that they are happy with. Talk to them about their experiences. It’s best to know what to expect ahead of time and clear up any additional questions you may have about in-home hospice care. Although each hospice has a set of rules and regulations that they must adhere to, each in-home hospice has a different culture and personality. Take time to talk with the in-home hospice manager to get a feel for the type of care that is provided. If the in-home hospice that you initially selected is not a good fit, you may change hospice providers during the open benefit period.
During your loved one’s in-home hospice care, they may be transferred to an in-patient hospice in order to receive short-term care for unrelated illnesses. Your options may be limited to the current agreements your existing hospice provider has in place with specialized hospice and hospital centers. Some in-patient hospice centers allow patients to stay past the Medicare approved timeline but may charge a separate daily fee or through Medicaid.
It is never too early to begin talking about end-of-life care. Patients and caregivers who discussed what the patient wanted earlier on in the process reported lower levels of stress and a smoother transition.
To find in-home hospice care in Minneapolis, Philadephia, or any other city near you, please visit SeniorAdvisor.com.