Frequently Asked Questions About Hospice Care
Is hospice really only end of life care?
Hospice is a word that many people don’t want to hear, yet hospice care can be one of the most important services that you or your loved one may ever receive. Many people hear hospice and immediately think “end of life care”, but that’s only a small piece of the picture. Hospice can provide medical care for:
- End of life
- Chronic illness
- Pain management
- Spiritual comfort
At what point do you call hospice?
A patient is eligible for hospice care if they have a disease with a life expectancy of less than 6 months. Should the patient live longer than 6 months, a doctor can recertify the patient and care can continue if the patient still has a disease with a less than 6 month life expectancy.
What does it mean to be on hospice care?
Hospice is not only for a patient, but also for their family. The support team can include several health services to help and care for patients, including nursing staff, therapists, and spiritual council. When the time comes for patients to receive hospice care, it is not only beneficial for those near end of life or those with an incurable illness, but also for the loved ones who surround them. Living requires support and care, and as a loved one nears the end of life or is in a time of terminal transition, it is imperative that both the patient and the family are free to get the information and resources necessary for compassionate care to help them make the decisions that are best for them in a challenging time.
What is the difference between palliative care and hospice?
The goal of both palliative and hospice care are to provide comfort to a patient with a terminal illness. The difference is, palliative care can begin immediately at the diagnosis of the illness, even while the patient is being treated for the illness. On the other hand, hospice care can officially begin when treatment for the illness officially stops when it is clear that the patient will not survive the illness.
Why would we need hospice?
Because of the delicate nature of the provisions of hospice, details about it are not always widely known. Hospice in Minnesota is not a difficult thing to look into, and is worth researching further. The care provided by MN hospice services can create a transition that is comfortable for patients and families despite illness or pain. Some forms of care that hospice addresses may not be widely known. Most people understand something about palliative care and pain control, but there is so much more to hospice than just the medical aspects (though these are, of course, important!) For instance:
- Care providers can spend time with a patient, assisting them to write, call, or email loved ones.
- Occupational therapists can work with patients to create scrapbooks of their life.
- Physical therapists can assist patients in range-of-motion exercises to give just a bit more freedom of movement and independence.
- Social workers can work with the family to offer options and help advocate and navigate the perplexing maze of medical billing.
- Registered dietitians can help create a balanced food menu to ensure the patient is receiving the very best nutritional intake to assist with comfort and any possible healing.
Whether in home or in medical facilities, Minnesota hospice can provide aid to someone who wants to transition with peace and dignity. Caring health care providers will offer a menu of options and visit either in facility or at home to give the quality care and advocacy that can make the end of life transition easier for both the patient and the patients family. Invest a day into researching hospice MN, because no one should have to enter end of life care on their own.
Is it better to die at home or in hospice?
Many patients would prefer to die at home in the presence of loved ones and in a familiar environment. Mary T Inc Hospice has all of the support, resources, and staff needed to not only support, but encourage patients to be at home in the final days, weeks, and months of their lives. We are not only prepared to help with this transition, but encourage and welcome it.
What are the 4 levels of hospice care?
- Routine or intermittent home care: This is care for a patient that does not need to be delivered continuously. A care provider usually sees the patient at a set interval, but the patient may be alone or with family without the provider at set times.
- Continuous home care: Instead of a care provider seeing a patient at a set, intermittent interval, there is always a provider like a nurse with the patient.
- General inpatient Care: If a patient has a medical need that requires acute care and is not related to the terminal diagnosis, a patient can be admitted to a hospital setting for care and return home or to their long term facility when the condition has been addressed.
- Respite care: Hospice patients frequently require a lot of care and attention, and family members and intermittent caregivers may not be able to keep up. If this is the case, a patient can be admitted to a higher level of care for a short time to allow for proper care and rest for the patient and family with the goal of returning home or to the long term facility as soon as everyone is comfortable again.
Do you have opportunities to volunteer for hospice service at Mary T Inc? Do you accept donations?
What is the referral process for hospice care?
If someone is eligible for hospice, our hospice team must receive a referral from the patient’s medical team that deems them qualified to begin services. Generally, this means that a physician has certified that they have a life expectancy of less than 6 months. Once the referral is received, an informational interview is scheduled between the hospice staff, patient, and caregivers.
How long does a person live after being put on hospice care?
Each hospice patient remains eligible for hospice benefits as long as a physician has certified that they have a Medicare approved terminal illness with a life expectancy of less than 6 months.
What insurance payments do you accept for hospice care?
Costs are covered under the Medicare and Medicaid Hospice Benefits as well as most private insurance plans.
How can I choose the right hospice provider?
When researching hospice agencies, be sure to ask the following questions:
- What makes their hospice agency unique?
- Are the agency’s nurses contracted, or do they use regular, consistent nursing staff?
- If you have a question or an urgent problem, are you calling a call center or an actual person?
- Does the service visit the patient at the time of death?
- Is the provider Medicare certified?
- What licenses and accreditations does the service maintain?
- How does the service measure and track quality?
- What bereavement services are offered by the organization?
- Do they have family member references?
- Do they provide a continuum of care to provide services and housing options outside of hospice?
Does Mary T Inc hospice service partner with any organizations?
We partner with several agencies in the Minneapolis area to supplement services to the people that we serve and their families. Companies that we are affiliated with share our same mission and goals. Partner agencies include: