WHAT IS HOSPICE?
The goal of hospice care is to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients and their families. Through health care professionals and specially trained volunteers, United Hospice Service will strive to provide the highest quality of care specific to patient and family needs.
Hospice care is covered under Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans.
Hospice services are available for a variety of life-limiting conditions that are no longer responsive to curative treatments. In order to be admitted to hospice care, a physician must certify a life expectancy of six months or less if the disease continues its normal course.
Possible hospice diagnoses include:
- Heart disease.
- Lung disease/COPD.
- ALS (LouGehrig’s)/Parkinson’s.
- Multiple sclerosis.
The hospice team in partnership with the patient develops a care plan that meets each patient’s individual needs for pain management and symptom control. The team usually consists of:
- The patient’s attending physician.
- Hospice medical director or nurse practitioner.
- Home health aides.
- Social workers.
- Clergy, bereavement, or other counselors.
- Trained volunteers.
- Other services such as dietary, physical therapy, and speech therapy as needed.
The interdisciplinary hospice team:
- Manages the patient’s pain and symptoms.
- Assists the patient with the emotional, psychosocial, and spiritual aspects of dying.
- Provides needed drugs, medical supplies, and equipment.
- Educates and supports the family on how to care for the patient.
- Delivers special services like speech and physical therapy as needed.
- Makes short-term inpatient care available when pain or symptoms become too difficult to manage at home, or the caregiver needs respite time.
- Provides bereavement care and counseling to surviving family and friends for 13 months after the death of their loved one.