What Is Hospice? Part 1

Time and time again, as I work with family members of patients, I hear a similar sentiment: “I wish I would have known that hospice offered this or that benefit . . . we would have signed on sooner!”
It’s a statement that reminds me that not everyone knows about the many things hospice offers . . . or what we actually do.
In an effort to provide a better picture of what hospice is all about, the next few blogs will cover basic hospice information that you may find helpful—and hopeful.
What is Hospice?
Hospice is a program of care and support for patients and families who are faced with a terminal illness. Hospice helps terminally ill people live their best lives, as comfortably as possible. The focus is on comfort, not on curing an illness.
Who provides care?
A multi-disciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, home health aides, bereavement specialists, and volunteers work together to address the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of each patient and family.
Where is Hospice?
Hospice is not a place or a location; it’s a healthcare option. The best “place” for hospice is the place that the patient calls “home.” Care can be delivered in private residences, nursing homes, assisted living and retirement communities and in hospitals.
What’s the Cottage in the Meadow?
Cottage in the Meadow is a wonderful, Medicare-approved hospice-care facility that addresses particular needs for the hospice patient.  It is not where a hospice patient typically moves to once admitted to hospice (because the best place for hospice is the place the patient calls “home”).
Hospice patients are usually admitted to the Cottage for one of these reasons:
a)      Symptom Management
The patient’s symptoms can’t be managed well at home and the patient needs to be admitted to this hospice-care facility until symptoms are managed.
b)      Respite
You can receive respite care if your usual caregiver (such as a family member) needs a rest. You can stay up to 5 days each time you receive respite care.

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