Answering Your Questions About Hospice Care

| By Jodi Horton

What if I can’t afford hospice care?

Hospice care is most often paid for through healthcare insurance. Individuals with Medicare can utilize the Medicare Hospice Benefit to cover the cost of care. The Hospice Benefit covers the cost of care, including nursing visits, home health aide visits, and social worker visits.  It also covers the cost of medical equipment and supplies and medications that are related to the hospice plan of care. Most private insurance plans will also pay for hospice care. To confirm, check with your insurance provider or with the hospice.

What if I don’t want to leave home?

Hospice is a philosophy of care, and part of that philosophy is to care for people in the place they call home. Your hospice care team will visit you in your place of residence, and provide care to you there. That includes visits from your nurse, visits from a home health aide, and if you choose, social worker, chaplain, and volunteer visits.

Sometimes, hospice patients will require more care than can be provided in the home. A symptom can become unmanageable by the family caregiver, and the hospice will recommend moving the patient to a hospice inpatient unit. The patient will only remain in the inpatient unit until the symptom is stabilized.

Will someone from the hospice be with me 24 hours a day?

Hospice support is available 24 hours a day, but a hospice worker does not stay with the patient for 24 hours a day. Hospice patients should have a primary caregiver, usually a loved one or a paid caregiver, and hospice workers will supplement the care and support the patient and caregiver. The hospice can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you have questions or in a crisis situation.

What if I get better or want to try a curative treatment?

Patients sometimes stabilize on hospice care, and the doctor may determine that he or she no longer has a six-month time frame. If that is the case, the patient will be discharged from hospice services, and may return to hospice care when the patient’s health begins to decline again. If a patient decides to try treatment, he or she can choose to revoke hospice services. If the patient chooses to end curative treatments, he or she can ask for another hospice evaluation.

Casa de la Luz Hospice is a leading hospice care provider for Pima County. For information about hospice services or to schedule a no-cost hospice evaluation, call 520.544.9890.

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