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Hospice Care

Hospice care is provided in assisted living facilities if requested by the resident or person responsible for making medical decisions. Generally, a medical doctor must certify that the resident has a terminal illness and that prognosis is six months or less.

Hospice does not seek to lengthen life nor hasten death, but focuses on the quality of life.

Hospice workers provide the patient and family with information and opportunities to participate in the decision making process. The focus is always on controlling pain, managing symptoms and providing comfort, dignity, and quality of life.

The hospice staff and volunteers assist with all the traditional physical care tasks, such as bathing, managing pain medications, arranging medical equipment, and therapies. Also, the staff and volunteers do perform simple tasks that include providing back rubs, assisting with household chores, helping put financial matters in order, talking openly about feelings, arranging transportation to doctor appointments, and helping family members cope.

Care for the terminally ill in the home generally provides patients more privacy and control of their environment, such as when to eat, what to eat, when to bathe, when to have company, visits with pets, etc. It is also more convenient for family and friends to visit the patient at home.

Many hospice facilities provide this same control and comfort for hospice patients and their significant others. Data shows that care in the home is less costly than care in a hospital. The family receives bereavement care for at least one year. The patient, family, and/or physician can initiate an information/referral call or visit as soon as a terminal disease is diagnosed, or at the same time a patient decides to move from a treatment plan focused on curing the disease to a plan focused on providing comfort and pain relief.

Hospice care is paid for in a variety of ways, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Private Insurance, Tricare, Private Pay and Charity Care.

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