There’s nothing like the relief of cool water, a warm bed, unexpected help or reuniting with someone you love. Sometimes people can’t define what they need, but when relief comes, they know it. That’s how it is with hospice.
People who qualify for hospice likely have been on a difficult road, perhaps with a long illness, moving in and out of treatment, the hospital or the ER. Families walk this road along with them, often carrying burdens of fear and uncertainty.
Accessing hospice does mean acknowledging that most diseases in their advanced stage cannot be cured, but it does not signal the end of good medical care, meaningful living or hope. The first step beyond a physician referral is a meeting with the hospice admissions team, typically a nurse and a social worker. Through open conversation, the team determines the patient’s immediate needs and goals for care.
The patient, family and care team co-create a specific care plan. Once complete, the hospice team springs into action: Physicians and nurses address pain and symptoms quickly, providing attentive monitoring, review and change when needed. Certified nursing assistants provide gentle care and enhanced services to promote comfort and quality of life. Social workers and chaplains help navigate practical, emotional and spiritual aspects of this journey. Volunteers provide special services, support and companionship.
With this symphony of care, patients feel better. Some even improve. With pain and discomfort at bay, people have energy to take part in their own lives. They can say what’s important, accomplish tasks and have meaningful time with friends and family. If you or someone you know may be eligible for hospice care, please don’t hesitate to call a provider. The sooner patients receive care, the more hospice can help, providing relief for the journey.
Hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance. People receive hospice care in their private residences, nursing or assisted living facilities or hospice in-patient facilities. For more information visit: www.agape-healthcare.com
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Kelly Bastian, FNP-C, Managing Director of Agape Hospice & Palliative Care. She can be reached at 720-482-1988.