As the life of a person draws to a close, the services of a home health aide can be invaluable to helping them stay comfortable and safe. Knowing what to expect from a provider will ensure that they provide the highest quality of life and comfort until the very end.
Everyone deserves to experience compassionate and high-quality care when they’re spending their last days at home. To ensure that the adjustment to receiving this care is smooth, it’s wise for you to understand what hospice care entails.
What You Should Understand When Working With a Hospice Care Provider
It may seem like an overwhelming task to get used to having someone in your home taking close care of a loved one. However, understanding the kind of care they offer and how they extend comfort to the patient can put your mind at ease.
Here are a few things you should understand about working with a hospice care provider:
- There are Several Levels of Care. Patients in need of hospice care do not necessarily receive the same services. At the lowest level, home health aides visit the patient at home and administer care in the form of physical support and assistance with daily activities. Those with more advanced conditions may require more intensive care such as continuous care, respite care, in-patient care, or transitional care. All of the levels of care are covered by the Hospice Medicare benefit and can be provided by Golden Rule Hospice.
- Providers Must Be Licensed. Hospice care is provided by licensed agencies that meet federal and state requirements. They are required to continue meeting these requirements in order to keep providing quality care to their patients. This means choosing a licensed agency is working with one that has proven to provide quality care to terminally ill individuals—you don’t need to worry about dealing with a provider that cannot offer the services you need.
- Support Services are Extended to the Family. It is not easy to be on the verge of losing a loved one. Many hospice care providers acknowledge this. Fortunately, care providers like Golden Rule Hospice look to offer a holistic approach to hospice, incorporating physical, emotional, and spiritual support. Hospice providers often work closely with the patient as well as the patient’s family and physician to come up with the best plan specifically curated for that individual. Family and caregiver support can be found in the form of counseling services, bereavement support, and more.
- Payment is Covered by Medicare. Everyone can afford hospice care. This type of crucial in-home care is covered by Medicare,, Medicaid, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and most private insurance plans,HMOs, and other managed care organizations. There may be some small out-of-pocket expenses, but these are minimal and sometimes, there are none at all.
When Is It Time to Call Hospice?
Anyone—whether it is a family member, a friend, a member of the clergy, or a physician—can refer someone to hospice. Most patients are referred by a healthcare professional, but a call to a local hospice provider can begin the referral process as well. A hospice nurse will usually visit to ensure the patient qualifies, go over services the provider offers and create an end-of-life care plan. Once a formal request is made, most palliative care organizations begin providing care.
This can help the patient and their family “put their lives in order” and make the final stage of life very meaningful and intimate.
This type of care enables families to navigate life together in the setting that is most comfortable for them. In most cases, the patient remains at home with full access to family and close friends while under professional medical supervision. An interdisciplinary care team is assigned to each hospice patient, which may include a physician, nurses, a pharmacist, a social worker, a bereavement counselor, a chaplain, volunteers, and massage, art and music therapists. Each team member is entirely focused on the person, not their illness. Their collective goal is ensuring that all physical, emotional and spiritual needs are met. With the hospice team spearheading care coordination, the family is free to enjoy more quality time together.
Whether you are looking for quality hospice care for yourself or for a loved one, knowing the above and preparing yourself for the transition will make it easier on both you and your loved one. After all, there is nothing more important than ensuring your loved one is given the proper care and attention they need in this delicate stage of their lives.
To get the best care for your loved one, come to Golden Rule Hospice. We believe that offering psychological, spiritual, and social services, as well as nursing care, can contribute to an improved quality of life for patients and their families. Get the best hospice care in Atlanta by contacting us at (470) 395-6567.