AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

It’s never a comfortable thing to talk about hospice care. You know that it means you’re down to your last few weeks with your loved one.  Unfortunately, though, it’s an experience that many people have to go through at some point in their life.  If you’ve never gone through it before, there’s a good chance you have a lot of questions.  Today we hope to answer three of the most important ones you may have.

img Hospice Care ID 498 3 Important Hospice Care Questions

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1. What does hospice care entail?

Once you get to hospice, the services provided for medical needs change.  The goal at this point isn’t curing a disease; it’s to help the patient be as comfortable as possible.  Physicians prescribe medications for pain management.  Nurses help tend to your loved one, respond to needs, and do things like change urinary catheters and bed pads.

In addition to medical services, hospice also provides emotional support.  Your loved one will always have a companion, even when you’re not able to be there.  For the family members who are suffering, hospice also provides bereavement counseling.  Don’t worry about being left alone either; every day, all day; someone will be available by phone to help you with whatever you need.

2. How will I pay for hospice care?

When you’re preparing to say goodbye to a loved one, the last thing you want to worry about is finances.  Some families might have been lucky enough to have time to prepare and save, but most probably do not have that same luxury.

Fortunately, there is plenty of assistance in paying for hospice care.  Most private insurance plans have options for hospice.  Medicare and Medicaid also have provisions for significantly helping pay for hospice.  If your loved one doesn’t have any plan that will pay, there are charities whose purpose is to help with hospice care.  Medicare law says no one can be refused, so the hospices have ways to help you get assistance.

3. How should I prepare for hospice care for my loved one?

Most hospice care can be done in your home or the home of the patient, whichever they prefer.  A hospice coordinator can help you determine exactly what you’ll need to set up, but there are some things that are typical.  The room where your loved one will be needs to be fairly spacious for the necessary medical equipment.  You’ll need space for supplies like urinary catheters, bed pans, and oxygen tanks.

No one can tell you it won’t be a rough experience, but you can get through it.  Seek the support of friends and family to help as much as they can; those who love you and your loved one will bend over backwards to give you as much love and support as you need.  If hospice is really what you need, find a good provider in your area and ask questions to make sure you feel ready.

With as much information as you can gather, you’ll be much less stressed and be able to be present with your loved one, along with making the best decision for them.  Enjoy as much laughter and as many good times as possible, and keep making memories together.

About the Author: Yolanda Carr, an RN nurse with a love of writing who is just starting the process of helping one of her own family members enter hospice care.


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