Hospice care is a particular type of compassionate care that addresses the needs of those with a life limiting illness – not just the immediate physical needs, but also the emotional, psychological, social and spiritual needs. In addition, hospice supports the family and friends of the individual to the greatest extent possible so that all concerned can maintain dignity and quality of life. An important part of hospice is that patients and families decide what care is right for them. Care is directed by the patient/family unit.
Hospice care includes the following:
- Medical equipment and supplies
- Medications for the management of pain and other symptoms
- Hospice inpatient care (both acute care and respite care) provided in a hospice facility, hospital or nursing facility
- Home visits by nurses, home health aides, chaplains, social workers, bereavement counselors, volunteers
- Crisis management for severe symptoms
- Bereavement follow-up for up to 13 months following the death of the individual
WHEN IS IT TIME FOR HOSPICE?
Many people wonder when it is the right time to call Hospice. This is a question best answered by you and your care team.
Some questions to ask include:
Hospice is a choice, not a requirement. The patient may choose to withdraw from the hospice at any time to seek other medical treatments that may become available. Many hospice patients are covered by Medicare or Medicaid – for more information click on Paying for Hospice Care.
- If my disease is not going to be cured, what type of treatment do I want? Treatment for comfort and pain control or aggressive curative treatment?
- How many times has the patient been in the hospital in the past 6 months?
- Are you tired of going into the hospital for treatments of the many physical conditions which may result from the disease?
- Is assistance with the cost of medications or medical equipment needed?
- If you live in your home, do you have support to provide assistance and care? This could be family or hired caregivers.
- If you find you answered "yes" to many of the above questions, then it is time to call a hospice and discuss your options for hospice care.
The Association provides resources for those living with a terminal illness and caregivers. Links to resources, access to providers and information to assist in decision making is available for "consumers".
Choosing the right hospice for your loved one is very important. While all hospice programs may have the same basic philosophy of care, each is different in some ways, so one program may be able to meet a particular person's needs better than another. Hospice programs are very willing to answer questions and assist in determining which hospice can best meet the needs of a particular patient and family.
FIND A HOSPICE PROVIDER
To find a hospice provider in your area, please click above and then select the county in which you seek service using the interactive map of Michigan. All hospice providers listed are members of the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Michigan.