Insightsthe blog of Porter Hills
A Program That Works. A Benefit That Matters.
Sara Lowe, LMSW
Watch the 13 on Your Side Senior Wellness Segment on this topic.
November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, which is about bringing awareness to discussing hospice with loved ones. Each year, the Hospice and Palliative Care Association chooses a theme, and 2018’s theme is “My hospice: A program that works. A benefit that matters.”
The Hospice Benefit
Hospice is a treatment option available to people who meet eligibility guidelines, which includes having a life expectancy of less than 6 months. It is a healthcare benefit included with Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances, which covers the care of dedicated team members, medications, equipment, and supplies necessary to ensure quality of life and symptom management for those facing a terminal diagnosis. In addition to providing care for the patient, hospice also provides. The Medicare hospice benefit is one that is earned and should be utilized for as long as the person meets the guidelines.
The Hospice Philosophy
There is a common misconception that hospice is a place where you go. In fact, hospice is not a place, it’s a philosophy of care that treats the mind, body, and spirit to make the most of the time remaining. The hospice approach is palliative, which means it provides compassionate care focused on treating symptoms rather than curing disease. Hospice is also unique in that it focuses on the whole person, attending to patients’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
There are many different providers of hospice care, ranging from nonprofit to for-profit, faith-based or not, and all different sizes. You can access hospice services by directly contacting a hospice provider that is a good fit for you and your family or by asking your physician if hospice might be an appropriate option. We encourage people to gather information about different hospice providers in order to find the right fit. For more information in selecting a hospice provider, visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
A Program that Works
At Emmanuel Hospice, we’ve seen firsthand how hospice services can provide comfort and compassion at what can be a difficult time of life. We start our service by asking a simple question: “How do you want to live?” We want to know what our patients love, how they want to spend their final days, and what they want to do with the remaining time they have left. We help our patients celebrate life, while providing them exemplary spiritual, physical, and emotional care.
Our interdisciplinary team brings together:
- Social Workers
- Spiritual Caregivers
- Grief Support Caregivers
- Registered Nurses
- Hospice Aides
- Complementary Therapists
Our complementary therapies include:
- Massage Therapy
- Music Therapy
- Acupuncture and Acupressure
- Essential Oils
- Pet Visitors
The word “hospice” sometimes comes with misconceptions about death and dying, so it’s important to know the wonderful benefits that come with choosing hospice care for yourself or your loved ones. Hospice provides symptom management, spiritual support, education, and emotional support, helping to guide families through this chapter of their lives. We often hear feedback from families who have received hospice care, thanking us for bringing comfort to their loved one, and walking alongside them every step of the way. If you think that hospice care is right for you or a loved one, we encourage you to reach out and take advantage of this wonderful benefit in our community.