At the core of the hospice movement is the belief that patients and families should be empowered to participate fully in deciding the care that is right for them. At Embrace Hospice, we share this belief. We embrace it-and patients and families who are dealing with these questions. Our staff want you to be as informed as possible about your options. As with any professional who may have an impact on your health, it's essential that the person chosen for that job is qualified. Here are our top questions you can ask that can help ensure you're picking the right agency for your needs.
Does the owner of the hospice run the day to day operations? If not, who does?
Not all hospices are locally owned or operated. Many hospice organizations have many different locations and a vast hierarchy. If it is important to you to know the team taking care of your loved one, look for a local company with a sound reputation and experience in the field of hospice.
Does the hospice care provider have Medicare approval?
Many hospices are certified by Medicare, which is the government health care program that covers people over 65, as well as certain people who have disabilities. A provider that is certified by Medicare means that the coverage will pay for hospice fees without deductibles and co-pays. The vast majority of patients in hospice care each year are cared for by a Medicare certified provider.
Will there be someone available 24-hours a day?
Not all hospice care companies provide assistance 24-hours a day. You may find it comforting to place a loved one under the care of a hospice provider where there is someone available at any time to deal with emergencies and urgent needs. You may wish to ask how long their average response time is for emergencies, as well as whether they have attendants dedicated to working the night and weekend shift.
Will care be provided wherever my loved one lives?
Hospice care takes many forms including end of life care in a hospital, hospice facility, in the patient’s residence, and assisted living community or nursing home.
Will someone be at the patient’s bedside at the end of his or her life?
Although it’s not possible to predict the exact moment of death in most cases, there are signals that indicate the end of life is imminent. In circumstances where an individual doesn’t have family who can remain close by at all times, you may wish to find a hospice care provider that can ensure someone will be on hand in the hours leading up to a person’s passing.
Here are some additional questions you might want to ask as you are looking for a hospice agency:
What is the typical response time if we need to reach someone at the hospice after normal business hours, or on weekends and holidays?
How quickly can we expect pain and/or symptoms to be managed?
How do they define "patient first care?"
How quickly will the hospice respond if medications do not seem to be sufficiently addressing pain or symptoms?
What does the hospice do when someone's pain cannot be adequately managed at home?
If there is a need for inpatient care, how will that be addressed by the hospice?
Are there any services, medications or equipment that the hospice doesn't provide?
When the hospice orders medication, where can it be picked up, or is it delivered by the hospice?
What is expected of the family caregiver?
Will the hospice provide training to family caregivers?
What help do your hospice volunteers provide and how can we request help from a volunteer?
What kind of bereavement support is offered by the hospice?
If we are unhappy with some aspect of care the hospice is providing, who can we contact at the hospice?
Embrace Hospice, LLC
San Antonio Hospice Care
5835 Callahagn Rd, Suite 500
San Antonio, Tx 78228
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