How Does Hospice Care Work?

By The Care Centers.

Like most people, you probably know the basics of hospice, but you may not truly understand how it works. However, if you have a loved one who is nearing the end of their life, then you will need to fully understand how hospice care works and what it will offer your aging or ill loved one. Let’s take an in-depth look at how this care works so that you can have a clear idea of what to expect from the moment you make the phone call through the weeks and months to come. 

You Will Be in Contact with a Team

When you get in contact with a hospice facility, you will need to have proof from your loved one’s doctor that they have six months or less to live. Then, a team of professionals will meet at different times and will be available all the time for your loved one, you, and the rest of your family. This team may include: 

  • A Doctor
  • A Nurse or Nurses
  • Mental Health Counselors (Including Grief Counselors)
  • A Social Worker
  • Therapists
  • Volunteers
  • A Spiritual Counselor

These people are on call at all times and will be able to help you and your loved one. Otherwise, how often they visit will depend on the severity of your loved one’s condition as well as where they are located: in a nursing home, at home, or in a hospice facility. 

How Long It Will Last

Hospice is intended to be a six month program. That’s why it is provided once a doctor has indicated that a patient has six months left to live. However, that doesn’t mean hospice care will cut off at that mark. It can continue for the foreseeable future. 

Medicare Can Cover It

If you have chosen a Medicare approved facility for hospice care of your loved one, then you will not have that many expenses to pay. In fact, in a lot of cases, Medicare will pay for everything. So, when you contact a hospice facility, make sure that they are Medicare approved. 

Hospice Can Be Stopped

Once your loved one has entered hospice care, they don’t have to stay with it. In fact, if their symptoms improve and it seems that they don’t need this end of life palliative care, then it is perfectly ok to go back to medical treatments. Beyond that, if they need hospice anytime in the future, it will still be available as needed. 

Hospice is a very important service for people who are nearing the end of their life. If you need to learn more about it, then you have literature readily available. Read more about the actual services provided to patients by reading this article (Five Basics of What Hospice Means). Additionally, if you need help in determining which of the hospice facilities to choose, then read this article (How to Choose the Right Hospice). This will give you the information you need to make the right decisions for your loved ones. Hospice care isn’t something you will want to ignore since it has so much to offer your loved one as well as you and the rest of the family. 


Tags: Hospice care