Being together again with your entire family; brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and of course, your parents. What a joyous time of year! It is such a blessing to be able to get together with loved ones. It is a time to celebrate, reminisce, and enjoy spending quality time together. It can also be a wake-up call when you see that your parents or loved ones have declined since your last visit. Especially during these last 9 months of separation due to the 2020 COVID-19 quarantine.
Getting together again for the holidays is often a realization that your family member or loved one will need extra care, comfort and support in order to add a better quality of life, as well as safety in their home, wherever that may be.
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and are told there is no other curative treatment available, did you know that you have the option of in-home hospice care? Hospice is a service that will provide nurses, aides, social services, and chaplain visits, as well as pay for any medical equipment, supplies and medications that are related to the terminal diagnosis. There is no out-of-pocket expense for these services.
We do understand that the word “Hospice” is very intimidating for most. It is a subject no one really looks forward to discussing. There are so many misconceptions regarding the hospice benefit. I want you to know that hospice is truly a gift for anyone needing the extra care, comfort, support and guidance for the patient and their family during the journey of a terminal illness. There is also an emphasis on pain management and relief of symptoms as well as emotional, social, and spiritual needs.
For a little more understanding about hospice, I am going to share a few of the most common myths and the correct fact for each.
Hospice is a Place
Fact: Hospice is provided in the patient’s home, wherever that may be. It could be their private home, Assisted Living Community, Residential Care Home, Independent Living Community, or Nursing Home.
Hospice starts when someone is close to dying
Fact: Hospice care actually starts at the time of diagnosis of the terminal illness. It extends beyond the patient’s death and includes bereavement and grief support for the family.
Hospice means giving up
Fact: Hospice provides hope for quality of life and encourages patients and their loved ones to continue the spirit of life. The focus is to improve quality of life, allowing them to make the most of the time they have. Hospice is a gift to help everyone see how much can be shared during these times. Our hope is for your experience to be a grateful one knowing that everything possible was done towards a peaceful death.
Hospice requires you to stop taking medications
Fact: Hospice focuses on relief of symptoms rather than a curative approach. The decision to stop medications is left up to the patient.
Hospice places a time limit for benefit
Fact: Medicare gives assistance if the form of benefit periods. Initial benefit periods are for 90 days. Each initial benefit lasts 90 days. If after that time period and there is still a need for hospice, you can receive an unlimited amount of 60- day benefit periods if a hospice doctor recertifies that you are still terminally ill. If the patient gets better and no longer qualifies, they can go off hospice and get back on if there is a decline.
Hospice hastens death
Fact: Hospice care is not designed to shorten life but to relieve emotional and physical pain while managing symptoms.
I hope this article has given you a better perception of Hospice. When you are all “Home for The Holidays”, enjoy your time together. As a reminder, while you are home together and see a possible need for hospice services but are just not sure, please reach out to us by phone or email. I, or one of the members of our team, are always available for education, questions or just to talk about your options. Contact information is below.
All of us at Archway Hospice wishes you a very Happy Holliday with your family and loved ones!
4645 Avon Lane, Suite 225 Frisco, Texas