FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

 

What is Home Health Care?

 

Medicare.gov defines home health care as a wide range of health care services that can be given in your home for an illness or injury. Home health care is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF).

 

Examples of skilled home health services include:

 

Wound care for pressure sores or a surgical wound

Patient and caregiver education

Intravenous or nutrition therapy

Injections

Monitoring serious illness and unstable health status

The goal of home health care is to treat an illness or injury. Home health care helps you get better, regain your independence, and become as self-sufficient as possible.

 

 

What can I expect from home health care?

 

Once your physician gives orders to start your care, our staff will schedule an appointment and come and speak with you about your medical needs at home and coordinate your care with your physician.

 

Examples of what our staff does are:

 

Check what you’re eating and drinking.

Check your blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing.

Check that you’re taking your prescription and other drugs and any treatments correctly.

Managing your pain

Check your safety in the home.

Teach you about your care so you can take care of yourself.

 

 

What Is Hospice Care?

 

Hospice is a specialized care designed to provide support to a patient and their family during an advanced illness. Hospice care focuses on comfort and quality of life, rather than cure. The goal of hospice care is to enable the patient to have an alert, symptom controlled life; to live each day as fully as possible, and to provide the support and guidance the patient’s loved ones need during the care of their love one. Hospice care affirms life and views death as a natural process.

 

Myth: Hospice is only for people in their last days of life

Hospice care is appropriate for those who have a limited prognosis of 12 months or less (6 months for Medicare eligibility). A common misconception about hospice is that it is "a last resort" and that a person must be bedridden or unable to communicate in order to receive help. Nothing could be further from the truth. Involving Hospice early means there’s more quality time for patients to spend with the people they love, and time to reflect during this peaceful, meaningful time of their life. Recent research indicates that patients receiving hospice care actually live longer than similar patients not receiving hospice care.

 

Myth: Hospice is a place

More than a place of care, hospice is a unique kind of care for people with advanced illness and the ones who love them. It is a specialized care that accepts dying as a natural part of life when death is inevitable, seeking neither to speed up the dying process nor postpone it. More than 90 percent of hospice care is received at the patient's home. Hospice care is available wherever the patient lives, be it a private home, nursing homes, or hospital. If pain or symptoms become too difficult to manage or stabilize at home, Hospice care may be continued at the local hospital.

 

Myth: Hospice care means giving up hope

Hospice involves acknowledging that most diseases in their advanced stage cannot be cured. Accepting Hospice services does not mean you or your family need to surrender hope or ongoing medical support. A person can continue to hope and plan each day for optimal quality of life, even while no longer pursuing aggressive curative treatments. Hope can be found from helping the patient and their family the highest possible level of physical comfort and peace of mind. Ultimately, hope means different things to different people, and Hospice helps you on your journey ... to live out whatever hope means to you.

 

Myth: Hospice means nothing else can be done.

There is a great deal Hospice can do to assist the patient and their family when the focus of care is on providing comfort when there is no cure. Hospice services focus on enhancing quality of life and the support of the patient’s family members.

 

Myth: Hospice is just about dying.

Hospice care is about living as fully as possible and making the most of the time you have. It’s about living in comfort and with dignity. And it is also about helping the patient and their family, have a better quality of life with the support they need.

 

Myth: Hospice means giving up control

Hospice does not mean giving up control. Hospice provides choice about where to live, how the patient wants to live their life, and all matter of decisions regarding the kind of care and treatments the patient and family does and does not want. A Hospice plan of care is customized based on input from the patient, their family, their physician and the Hospice interdisciplinary care team.

 

Myth: Hospice is only for people over 65 years old and on Medicare.

Hospice care is available for people of all ages with advanced illness regardless of their ability to pay.

 

Myth: Hospice care is only for the patient

While a patient's care is important, hospice care is holistic and designed to support the needs of all family members and caregivers. Hospice care is not only about treating patient symptoms; care is about being a compassionate guide for patients and their families.

 

 

Do I have to have a lot of money to afford hospice care?

 

Hospice care may be paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans.  In addition, Memorial Hospice maintains a Patient Care Account through donations by the community for individuals who need Hospice services but are unable to pay.  No patient is turned away due to inability to pay.

 

 

Do I have to have cancer to receive hospice care?

 

Hospice cares for patients with a range of end-stage illnesses, including (but not limited to) congestive heart failure (CHF), stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Alzheimer’s disease, end-stage dementia, kidney disease, liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), complications of AIDS, multiple sclerosis, as well as cancer.

 

 

 

Do I have to give up my primary doctor?

 

Every aspect of Hospice care involves teamwork-which can include your physician. Hospice team members are experienced in coordinating and communicating with your own physician about the best plan of care for you.

 

 

Do I have to give up all treatments to receive care?

 

Occasionally, chemotherapy treatment and physical therapy treatment provide comfort while receiving hospice care. Each patient is unique. Hospice care strives to provide a blend of treatments that are in the best interest of the patient.