November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.
Knowing Your Options is the theme, with the intention of providing an important educational message to clarify this often-confusing form of care.
What is Hospice?
- Hospice is a viable treatment option for those with palliative goals
- Combats the idea that hospice is only provided when there is nothing more that can be done
- Hospice is actively and aggressively treating troubling symptoms
- Hospice is not just for the last few days of life
What kind of care do people receive from hospice?
- Compassionate care from a skilled interdisciplinary team including physician, nurses, aides, spiritual care counselors, social workers and volunteers
- Massage therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, music therapy, pet therapy, physical/occupational/speech therapy
- Medications, equipment and supplies
How is this paid for?
- Covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance
When is the right time to access hospice services?
- People are eligible for hospice when they are diagnosed with a terminal condition and a limited life expectancy (6 months or less).
- It is important to understand what Hospice is so when the need arises, you are prepared.
How do we talk about end of life with a loved one during the holidays?
- Take time to remember those in your life who have died, recognize what you are thankful that they brought into your life, recognize the empty chair
- Open the dialogue about the possibility of this being their last holiday season.
- If that is too difficult, talk about what is important to them, their preferences and priorities.
Where can I find more information regarding hospice services?
For more information please visit the Porter Hills blog at www.porterhills.org.