Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice

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How to Choose Hospice Care

Hospice provides support and comfort for people who need end-of-life care. Opting for hospice care is one of the most compassionate decisions you will ever make. You will find hospice workers in assisted living centers, nursing homes, hospitals and residential facilities. Some patients may even receive care in their own homes or the homes of friends and family,

According to the Hospice Foundation of America, a third of all Americans choose hospice care when they are dying. But hospice isn’t only for the dying. Loved ones also benefit from hospice care, as workers will support them through some of the most difficult moments in life.

And while all hospice centers are regulated by the government, each facility has meaningful differences in personnel, policies and facilities.

LOCATION

Hospice specializes in making the patient feel as comfortable as possible. Care can take place anywhere. Patients can even receive treatment in their own homes, where they are most comfortable.

Some diseases may require more specialized care than others. The patient can also choose to stay in a facility that can give them easy, 24-hour access to nurses, medication, and medical equipment needed for their comfort.

It is always best to consult with a doctor regarding this decision. The hospice staff will meet with the patient’s physician to talk about the current symptoms, medical history and life expectancy. Then they will let you know which options are available to you.

COMMUNICATION

Pick a hospice service that helps you feel at ease. You are going to have to ask and answer some extremely difficult questions. Death is a tough subject to discuss. Clear, caring communication is absolutely essential.

A quality hospice program will give you all the time and personal attention you need to ease your mind.

Part of picking hospice involves having the right feeling. If the hospice staff is personable and makes you feel comfortable, that’s a good sign.

REFERRALS

Every patient who receives hospice treatment must be qualified by a physician. Usually, this means there is a life expectancy of six months or less.

Since some physicians may hesitate to broach the subject of hospice care, you may need to bring it up yourself. Ask whether hospice care would be appropriate and which services might be most helpful to ease the end-of-life process.

You can also approach a hospice facility directly to ask about their services. They will help you determine which care is most appropriate.

Hospice care has been growing since the 1990s. Many people are realizing that it is possible to die with peace and dignity. Hospice can help the end-of-life experience a little easier for the patient and loved ones.

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