If you are searching for hospice care in Alpharetta, Atlanta, or elsewhere in Georgia, you will need to ask a lot of questions about any provider you are considering.
Not all hospices provide the same services or approach the care they provide with the same compassion.
A hospice has one and only one chance to make the end of life transition as comfortable as possible for the patient and their loved ones.
That means you also have one chance to choose the right hospice. Below are some tips to help you identify palliative care in Georgia that is right for you.
How To Choose The Right Hospice
- Find out the location of services. The first step to choosing the right hospice service is to make sure that you are picking one that serves your area. But that doesn’t just mean choosing a hospice with headquarters near you. It also means asking about the availability of nurses and other staff with respect to your location. You need to make sure that if there is an urgent need for treatment, a nurse will be able to make it out to the patient’s home rapidly.
- Check into the levels of care offered. The majority of hospices in Georgia offer the four standard levels of care that Medicare covers. Golden Rule Hospice, for example, offers an exclusive fifth level of care called Transitional Care. This level of care is available when CMS will not permit Continuous Care, but when a patient requires additional support while in decline. This is just part of how we provide more support for patients than 90% of area hospices in the final 7 days of life.
- Investigate background and licensing information. As when you are choosing any business to work with, it is important to find out about the company that operates the hospice. Indeed, this is extra important with hospice, since these are the professionals you will be entrusting with the care of your loved one during their final weeks. Find out how long the hospice has been operating. Learn about the management as well as the employees and contractors who work under them. Check to make sure that the hospice is certified and licensed.
- Learn what to expect regarding payments. There are number of questions you will need to ask about paying for hospice care. The hospice you work with should accept the coverage you have, whether it is Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, or VA benefits. Make sure you understand the timeline for paying any out-of-pocket costs you might incur.
- Ask about specialty care. Different hospices may have different specializations. Work with a hospice that can provide the specialty care that you may need for a particular condition. Specialty care considerations can go beyond health conditions as well. Do you need a hospice that is skilled with working with veterans? With patients of a particular ethnicity, religion, or orientation? With patients who suffer from anxiety, depression, or PTSD?
- Find out what holistic support is available. Along with physical support management, many hospices also provide additional support for the mind and spirit. Golden Rule Hospice offers social and volunteer support, bereavement and grief counselling, and spiritual support for patients and their loved ones.
- Ask about support for the rest of the family. Hospice care isn’t just for the patient, but also for the patient’s family. Ask what services are available for spouses, siblings, children, and extended relations.
- Go with a company that is local, not national. There are national hospice companies that serve Georgia and other states. But we recommend going with a local company instead since you can get more personalized service. With a nationwide company, you will never meet the owners, and you may have a difficult time reaching physicians when you need fast answers or support. But with a local hospice such as Golden Rule, you can speak to our owners directly, and you will find our physicians accessible and responsive.
- Choose a hospice in GA that has a philosophy of care compatible with the patient’s needs. Finally, perhaps one of the most important considerations when you are choosing a hospice is not any one specific feature or service, but rather the overall approach taken to care. Every patient has individual emotions, beliefs, and needs during this time of transition, and it is imperative to work with a hospice that will have a deep respect for those requirements. Make sure that the hospice will be a fit for the patient’s personality and values, and will respect their wishes completely.
Call Us Today for Your Consultation
Golden Rule Hospice offers respectful, compassionate end-of-life care for patients and their loved ones in Alpharetta and Atlanta. We take pride in offering some of the most comprehensive care available in the state.
To learn about our services in detail, please give us a call at (470) 395-6567 to schedule a consultation. Together, we can answer your questions and come up with a personalized plan to support your loved ones.