When should you consider hospice?
When the goal of treatment begins to shift from curing the illness to providing comfort, it is time to consider hospice. The patient makes the decision to choose hospice in partnership with his or her family physician and the hospice team, after a thorough review of all the care options. When a patient chooses hospice, the decision is made to focus on pain management and symptom control, as well as emotional and psychosocial support for both patient and family.
For questions about whether or not hospice care is appropriate, please feel free to contact us at 469.293.1515.
How can I afford hospice care?
Hospice care services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and by many private insurance companies. A majority of hospice patients are over 65 and are entitled to services under the Medicare Hospice Benefit. This benefit covers all aspects of hospice care with little out-of-pocket expense to the patient or family. Our staff will work with each patient and family to identify payer sources.
What is the criteria that is used to determine if a patient is a candidate for hospice?
- Diagnosis of a life limiting illness, usually six (6) months or less, as certified by their physician
- Patient desires hospice care
- Patient must reside in service area
Why should we choose hospice?
The decision to choose hospice is a very personal one. It directly involves the patient, family, physician and any loved ones who may serve as caregivers. Here a few things you may want to consider. Hospice’s expertise in palliative, or “comfort” care, assures the patient of state-of-the-art pain control and symptom management. Hospice enables patients to focus on living their remaining days fully, at home, among family and friends. This emphasis on family involvement-understanding that everyone’s definition of “family” is unique-helps individuals to support each other during this time of life.
How do we choose a hospice agency? Why should we choose Ardent?
When comparing hospices, be sure to ask:
- What are your quality scores? Satisfaction scores are collected by every hospice agency and are reported on Medicare.gov’s website in a section called Hospice Compare. Review Ardent’s scores here. Our excellent care is reflected in our superior scores.
- Are you local? And, how many years have you been in business? Ardent is locally-owned and has been serving the community since 2007.
- How easy is it to talk to a nurse when we need one? At Ardent, our patients are able to reach us by phone 24 hours a day, every day of the week. Ardent people answer the phones at all times — we never use an answering service. When comparing hospices, be sure to ask about the use of a call center. Our patients and their families find great comfort knowing they can reach a nurse at any time.
Hospice care takes place in the home. For some, “home” may mean a house or an apartment. For others, it may be some form of extended care facility, such as a nursing home or assisted living community. Regardless of the circumstance, the hospice team will come to you where you live.
The majority of hospice patients live in their own home with the help of a family member or friend who serves as the “primary caregiver”. This caregiver works closely with the hospice team to provide for the patient’s daily needs. In extended care facilities, hospice teams create a partnership with the staff and family, just as they would with the family in the home.
In addition to home care, Ardent Hospice also provides short-term inpatient hospital care, when necessary, to manage the symptoms of the illness or give the family a brief rest from the responsibilities of caregiving. During these times, the Ardent hospice team remains involved and helps the patient transition back to the home environment as quickly as possible.
What makes hospice care unique?
Hospice care centers around the patient and family. The goal of the Ardent hospice team is to empower the patient to make his/her own choices with its support and assistance. Our team will serve as your advocate, helping you to access the information and resources you need during this very challenging time.
In addition to providing the care directly, hospice team members serve as teachers, enabling the family to care for their loved one at home. We recognize that the family and caregivers need extra support both during and after their experience of caring for a terminally ill patient.
What steps do I take to begin the admission process?
Give us a call at 469.293.1515 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will contact the patient’s physician to make sure that the physician agrees that hospice care is appropriate for the patient and one of our registered nurses will visit the prospective patient and family to provide additional information, obtain some information that will allow us to provide the best possible care to the patient and his/her family and answer any questions that the patient or family might have.
Do I have to stop seeing my own physician?
No. Patients are encouraged to continue receiving care from their attending physician. Ardent Hospice will work with your personal physician to coordinate an individualized care plan. Our Medical Director is also available to help patients who do not have a primary physician.
Who is hospice care for?
We provide care to patients with any end stage diagnosis. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Heart Disease
- Lung Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Liver Disease
- Neurological Diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.)
- Stroke and/or Coma
- Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS)
What if there is a problem on a week night, weekend or holiday?
The professionals at Ardent Hospice are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our registered nurses are on call to resolve concerns via telephone, or if necessary, with a visit.
Does hospice do anything to hasten death?
Hospice care is a philosophy of care that accepts dying as a natural part of life. When death is inevitable, hospice seeks neither to hasten nor postpone it. The role of hospice is to provide care and support when someone is dying. It emphasizes pain management and symptom control to make patients as comfortable as possible.
Medicare Patients – How long can I get hospice care?
You can get hospice care as long as your doctor and the hospice medical director or other hospice doctor certify that you are terminally ill and probably have six months or less to live if the disease runs its normal course. If you live longer than six months, you can still get hospice care, as long as the hospice medical director or other hospice doctor recertifies that you are terminally ill.
Medicare Patients – Why would I stop getting hospice care?
If your health improves or your illness goes into remission, you no longer need hospice care. Also, you always have the right to stop getting hospice care for any reason. If you stop your hospice care, you will receive the type of Medicare coverage that you had before you chose a hospice program. If you are eligible, you can go back to hospice care at any time.
You should continue to use your Medicare plan to get care for any health problems that aren’t related to your terminal illness. You may be able to get this care from the hospice medical team doctor or from your own doctor. The hospice medical team must determine that any other medical care you need that isn’t related to your terminal illness won’t affect your care under the hospice benefit.
What type of bereavement support does Ardent Hospice offer?
We will be here to support you during a difficult time. Our team of professionals, caregivers and trained volunteers are dedicated to providing medical and emotional support to you and your loved one. We will perform an initial assessment and provide an ongoing evaluation of the social, psychological and emotional factors related to the patient’s terminal illness and the family’s response. In addition to the support that we offer during the patient’s illness, we also provide bereavement services to a patient’s family for a period of 13 months after a loss.