When is it Time for Hospice?
How do I know when my loved one is ready for hospice?
In-home hospice care is available for people facing life-limiting illness. Learn more about hospice care services below.
What is hospice?
Hospice care is specialized, compassionate, individualized care that focuses on personal goals and optimizes quality of life. The emphasis of home hospice care is on enhancing quality of life, focusing on personal goals and making the patient as physically and emotionally comfortable as possible in their home setting. Additionally, hospice considers both the patient and the family as the unit of care, offering support to the patient’s caregivers and loved ones.
What are the signs that someone may be ready for hospice?
It is a common misconception that hospice is only appropriate when someone reaches a stage of extreme debilitation. Referring to hospice as soon as the prognosis points to hospice eligibility means that patients with life-limiting illness (and their families) receive valuable benefits that enhance day-to-day life with minimal disruption to their usual activities.
The indications of hospice eligibility can be subtle and easily overlooked. Some signs of hospice readiness can include (but are not limited to):
- Failure to rehabilitate
- Needs more assistance with activities of daily living such as ambulation, transferring, dressing, bathing, feeding and toileting
- Unintentional weight loss or gain
- Decreased appetite or difficulty swallowing
- Multiple hospitalizations or ER visits
- Recurrent falls
- Recurrent infections
- Decreased communication or change in socialization behavior
- Added complexity of cognitive impairment
- Requires a change in care setting
Elara Caring’s nurses and physician directors are equipped to look at a patient’s clinical and functional “portrait” to determine eligibility status.
What services does hospice include?
Each patient has unique care needs. The type and frequency of visits are based on the patient’s individual care plan and are modified as often as needed to meet patient and family needs and goals. Hospice services may include:
- Physician services and nursing care
- Social worker services
- Certified nurse aide and homemaker services
- Chaplain and spiritual counseling
- Medical equipment such as wheelchairs, medical beds or oxygen
- Medical supplies
- Medications associated with admitting diagnosis and related conditions
- Education and resources to support:
- Function (ambulation, transfer, dressing, bathing feeding, toileting)
- Nutrition (eating, drinking, hydration, nourishment)
- 13-month bereavement support
How is hospice paid for?
Medicare pays for 100% of hospice care once a patient is eligible.
Elara Caring accepts Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial insurances that have a hospice benefit.
What if a patient’s condition improves?
The patient always has the right to stop hospice service for any reason at any time. The patient also can continue or resume the hospice benefit as long as they continue to meet eligibility. The hospice team can help facilitate this process.
How do I learn more about hospice?