At The Gables Assisted Living and Memory Care we welcome hospice patients and work hand in hand with our local hospice agencies. Together we coordinate as a team to provide consistent, supportive care to our residents and their families in the final phase of a terminal illness, specifically focusing on comfort and quality of life. Hospice involves acknowledging that most diseases in their advanced form cannot be cured. It does not mean giving up hope. The focus of hope shifts towards providing physical comfort and peace of mind to our resident and their loved ones.
What Is Hospice?
Hospice care is designed to give supportive care to people in the final phase of a terminal illness and focus on comfort and quality of life, rather than a cure. The goal is to enable patients to be comfortable and free of pain, so that they live each day as fully as possible. Hospice looks at all the patient’s and family’s needs. A coordinated team of hospice professionals, assisted by volunteers, works to meet the patient’s and family’s emotional and spiritual needs, as well as the patient’s physical needs. The emphasis is on controlling pain and symptoms through the most advanced techniques available and on emotional and spiritual support tailored to the needs of the patient and family. Hospice recognizes that a serious illness affects the entire family as well as the person who is ill. The family, not just the patient, is the “unit of care” for hospice professionals. Sometimes other family members actually need more attention than the patient.
Hospice includes the services of a team of health care professionals: Physicians, nurses and certified nurse’s assistants, social workers, chaplains and spiritual counselors, bereavement coordinators, and volunteers to provide companionship and emotional support in different ways.
Hospice also provides medications, medical equipment and supplies necessary to promote comfort at home or in other hospice settings.
Hospice staff are available by phone at all times, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Who Pays For Hospice Care?
Hospice is covered by most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, with few out-of-pocket costs to the patient. The Medicare hospice benefit covers costs related to the terminal illness, including the services of the hospice team, medication, medical equipment and supplies. Medicare reimburses for different levels of hospice care recognizing sometimes patients require special attention.
Medications – The Medicare hospice benefit covers medications needed to treat the patient’s terminal illness. Generally, hospice providers will order medications for you, and you can get them from the pharmacy or arrange for delivery. Medications for a condition not related to the terminal illness – allergy medication for example – are not covered by the hospice benefit.
Medical supplies – The physician and nurse will work with the family to determine which medical supplies and equipment the patient needs. Again generally most hospice providers will order the equipment and have it delivered to the home.
When To Consider Hospice
After a diagnosis of life-limiting illness, patients and their families should consider their choices for care. A patient does not have to be bed-bound or critically ill to be admitted to hospice. The Gables Assisted Living and Memory Care is happy to help get you and your loved ones in contact with a local hospice representative in your area. For more information, contact the nearest Gables home to you.
Who Is Eligible For Hospice?
A physician must certify that a hospice patient has an illness and an estimated life expectancy of six months or less if the illness runs its usual course. The patient must agree to hospice care. Generally, most hospice providers accept everyone who meets those criteria, regardless of the patient’s financial situation or insurance coverage.