At the end of a long battle with a serious illness, you or your loved one may be struggling to live life. This difficult and sad time is made more stressful by trying to decide the best option for care. One option in the last stages of life that can empower patients is hospice care. Hospice is a way for terminally ill patients to gain greater control over their options.
Why Hospice Care?
Hospice care is difficult to talk about because it means that you have to talk about the end of life. However, there are several reasons why hospice care is worth pursuing. You might consider hospice care if you or your loved one:
- You or your loved one has a terminal illness.
- Treatment has become more of a burden than a benefit at this point.
- You want to spend your remaining time in your chosen setting, spending time with friends and family instead of in a hospital.
- You wish to pass away in the comfort of your own home.
It may be hard for you or your loved one to accept the end of life, but hospice care is an option for those who are done with aggressive medical treatment and want to say goodbye on their own terms.
Who Can Receive Hospice Care?
In order to receive care from a hospice program, you must meet these two requirements:
- Your condition is not curable.
- Your doctor determines that you have fewer than six months to live. You will need a signed form from your doctor, as well as authorization from a doctor from the hospice care team.
Though your doctor can estimate how long you have left to live, there is no way to know precisely. Sometimes, people live longer than six months when in hospice care, which they can continue until they pass. Alternatively, it could be that your or your loved one’s illness gets better, and you no longer qualify for hospice care. Hospice care is usually paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, or other health insurance in the last six months of life.
Some people have terminal illnesses that are not predictable that may qualify for hospice care even though they cannot predict whether or not they will live for a few months or several years. Unpredictable illnesses have their own guidelines when it comes to hospice care. In general, people with the following illnesses qualify for hospice care in the late stages of the condition:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Heart Failure
- Kidney Disease
Some people may have other illnesses that are unpredictable yet terminal and want to receive hospice care. In these cases, it is possible that Medicare will not cover it, as they generally cover hospice only in the last six months of life.
At Your Healing Touch, we understand that when your loved one is nearly at the end of their life, you want to make sure they are as comfortable and at home as possible. If your loved one requires hospice care, we can act as a resource to help you find what you need. Contact Your Healing Touch today to learn more about our elder care services.