What is Hospice?
In medieval times, hospice was a place of shelter for travelers on a difficult journey. Today, hospice is no longer a place but, rather, a philosophy of care that offers spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and medical support to those facing one of life’s greatest journeys. It is a compassionate approach that allows those faced with a life-threatening illness to maintain dignity and control over their lives and to spend quality time with their family and friends in the comfort of their own homes whether that is in a private residence, skilled nursing facility, or assisted living facility. The goal is not to cure, but to provide comfort and maintain the highest possible quality of life for as long as possible.
During the final phases of a life-limiting illness, unique needs arise which can tax the best of us. Hospice exists in the hope and belief that through appropriate care, and the promotion of a caring community that is sensitive to their needs, patients and their families may be free to attain a degree of mental and spiritual preparation for death that is satisfactory to them. Amity Care Hospice offers an experienced team of skilled specialists who provide the kind of support that is so needed at times like these. Our hospice team works with the attending physician and family to develop a personalized plan of care to meet the specific needs and wishes of both patient and family.
Who uses Hospice Care?
Hospice serves anyone with any life-limiting illness. The following is a list of some of the illnesses our patients have had: cancer, cardiac disease, renal disease, neurological illnesses, Lou Gehrig’s disease, AIDS, cirrhosis, leukemia,end stage Alzheimer’s and others.
When is the right time to call Hospice?
Whenever someone has been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, it is appropriate to explore all options, including hospice. A great place to start is to have a discussion with one’s attending physician. If you are thinking about calling hospice, then now is the right time to call. Simply phone us at 678.402.5235 to learn more about our services. There is no obligation. We are happy to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.
What does Hospice provide?
All hospices provide a medical director, registered nurses, home health aides, spiritual care coordinators, social work services, dietary counseling, drugs and medical supplies / equipment related to the life-limiting illness, respite care, trained volunteers, and bereavement counseling. Additionally, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, occupational, and speech therapists may be called in as needed. However, Amity Care Hospice offers so much more.
Does Hospice provide 24-hour nursing?
No; however, a hospice nurse is available 24 hours a day by phone to assist with emergencies and can make a home visit if necessary. Hospice nurses visit patients as directed by the plan of care created with input from the patient, family, and hospice team. Those visits are generally made on a weekly basis or more frequently as the patient’s condition dictates. The family can also privately hire shift nurses to provide 24-hour nursing if the family has health insurance that will reimburse them over and above Hospice or if the family is financially able to privately hire. However, Amity Care Hospice does offer “continuous care” under certain circumstances. Click here to learn more.
What happens when someone wants to use Hospice services?
Before a family comes on service with hospice, the patient’s attending physician and hospice’s medical director confer to verify that the patient is medically eligible for hospice. Once that is confirmed, an Amity Care Hospice team member meets with the patient and/or family to fill out the paperwork and answer any questions that remain. Once a patient becomes part of our “family,” our team of nurses, certified nursing assistants, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers are ready to serve.
Who pays for Hospice?
Hospice offers palliative care to those facing a life-limiting illness and their families without regard to age, gender, nationality, race, creed, sexual orientation, disability, diagnosis, availability of a primary caregiver, or ability to pay. Most health insurances, including Medicare, provide full coverage for Hospice care, usually with no co-payments or deductibles.* In addition, most Medicaid and commercial insurance plans also offer excellent coverage for hospice services with few, if any, out-of-pocket expenses. Patients who are under-insured or who have limited resources can apply for financial assistance, which is funded by community donations. *Hospice care at home is free: all medical services, medication, and equipment related to the admitting diagnosis are paid in full by Medicare in 80% of cases.
Is Hospice care only offered at home?
Hospice is offered to patients in the comfort of their own “home” wherever that might be. “Home” might be a personal residence or in an adult community, nursing home, or a group home. While 85% of Hospice care is provided to patients at “home,” there are times when a hospice inpatient is appropriate whether because of a medical crisis or respite for the family. Amity Care Hospice also offers “continuous care” to our patients and families so the patient .
How can I learn more about Hospice? To obtain further information, to apply to be a volunteer, or to inquire about Hospice speakers, call our office at 678.402.5235 or email email@example.com.