On this program, we learn about a service called Hospice that was begun in the 1970s to help those diagnosed with terminal illnesses and their families have a higher quality of life with less pain and suffering during the final phase of their lives.
We learn about what Hospice is and what it isn’t and explore some of the misconceptions and myths that are frequently repeated.
This is a subject that makes many people uncomfortable. Most Americans are uncomfortable talking or even hearing about anything having to do with death, be it their own or another person’s. But it cannot be denied that eventually we all go to see our maker.
Join us with our guest Kevin Channell with Altus Hospice. Altus Hospice can help facilitate care for families in their time of need whether setting up an informational session to learn more about hospice, answering questions over the phone or facilitating a nurse for the initial assessment of a patient to determine if Hospice is the right choice.
Altus Hospice’s Mission is to provide professional care with a personal touch by focusing on both patient and their family with absolute dedication to those they serve.
Altus has been serving hospice patients since 2007 and they serve patients all over the Houston area as well as Beaumont, Austin, Dallas, and Corpus Christi.
Call Altus for more information at 281-493-9744
Some of the topics we cover on this program are;
• What is Hospice?
o Hospice is not a place—it’s care that focuses on comfort and quality of life.
o Hospice is a specialized type of care to help you and your loved ones take control of your life and your disease.
o Hospice care can take place in a variety of settings, and is designed to surround the patient and the family with the physical, emotional and spiritual resources needed to make the most of every moment.
• Is Hospice where you go when there is nothing left to be done?
o Hospice is the “something more” that can be done for the patient and the family when the illness cannot be cured or its’ progression halted.
o It is a concept based on comfort-oriented care. A referral into hospice is a choice to receive comfort care, where hospice professionals are trained to assist patients in living their lives fully, completely, and with minimal pain until the end of their lives.
• Hospice and Home Health Care are both services that are delivered in the patient’s home. What is the role of each?
o Home Health Care role
o Hospice role
• Who qualifies for the Hospice Benefit?
o To qualify for hospice, patients must have a life-limiting illness such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, end-stage Alzheimer’s or any other condition with a life expectancy of six months or less.
o Each patient or family must choose hospice care with the understanding that our focus of care in on pain management and the patient’s physician must agree that hospice care is appropriate.
• What Does Hospice Cost?
o Most services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many private health insurance companies.
o Medicare pays 100% for the care provided by the hospice agency for Medicare patients.
o The Hospice staff can help assist patients, families and physicians in determining eligibility and researching all available resources.
• What Services Are Provided in Hospice?
o Hospice covers the care as well as the cost and delivery of medical equipment (such as a hospital bed delivered and set up in your home), medications, medical supplies, and other items related to the hospice diagnosis.
• Who Provides Care? Care is provided by a hospice team with special training in end-of-life care, and includes
o A hospice physician who works with your designated attending physician to create a personal plan of care; if you lack an admitting physician, the hospice physician can serve this role.
o Hospice nurses who work to asses, organize and implement your plan of care with a focus on relieving pain and increasing comfort.
o Social workers and spiritual care coordinators who connect you to local resources and work to provide emotional and spiritual guidance.
o Hospice aides who assist with bathing and personal needs.
o Trained volunteers who can give caregivers a rest, help with essential errands or provide companionship.
• What are the care ‘levels’?
o Routine Home Care: Goal is to provide hospice care in the patient’s residence (home, nursing facility, or wherever the patient may reside.)
o Respite Care: This is for the family to provide the caregiver time to rest and recuperate, or for personal time.
o Inpatient care: This is a higher level of care to provide short-term crisis management of pain or symptoms that cannot be accomplished in the home setting.
o Continuous (Crisis) Care: Another higher level of care to provide short-term crisis management, which is primarily nursing care, to achieve palliation of acute medical symptoms.
Call Altus for more information at 281-493-9744