FAQ about Hospice Care

Listed below are some of the commonly asked questions and their answers to help you better understand hospice philosophy and our program.

Q: When should a decision about entering a hospice program be made, and who
should make that decision?
At any time during a life-limiting illness, it’s appropriate to discuss all of a patient’s care options, including hospice. Hospice staff members are highly sensitive to this subject and are always available to discuss them with the patient and family. Anyone can refer a patient to Blue Skies Hospice.

Q: Should I wait for our physician to raise the possibility of hospice, or should I raise it first?
A: The patient and family should feel free to discuss hospice at any time with their physician , health professional,  family, and friends.

Q: Can a hospice patient who shows signs of recovery be returned to regular medical treatment?
A: Yes, If the patient’s condition improves and the disease seems to be in remission, patients can be discharged from hospice and returned to therapy. If a discharged patient should later need to return to hospice,insurance will allow additional coverage for this purpose.

Q: What does the hospice admission process involve?
A: One of the first things hospice will do is contact the patient’s physician to make sure he or she agrees that hospice care is appropriate for this patient. Then, that patient will also be asked to sign consent and insurance forms (similar to what patients sign when they enter a hospital). These forms let the patient know that care will be aimed at pain relief and symptom control rather than curative measures.

Q: Must someone be with the patient at all times?
A: In the early weeks of care, it’s usually not necessary for someone to be with the patient all the time. Later, however, since one of the most common fears of patients is the fear of dying alone, hospice generally recommends someone be there continually.

Q: Is caring for the patient at home the only place hospice care can be delivered?
A: No, although much of hospice care is spent in a personal residence, some patients live in nursing homes or hospice centers such as Blue Skies Hospice.

Q: How does hospice manage a patient’s pain?
A:   Physical pain is managed within 24 hours of admission.  Hospice nurses and doctors are up to date on the latest  medication and devices for symptom relief. In addition, physical and occupational therapists can assist patients to be as mobile and self sufficient as possible. The Blue Skies Hospice staff believes that, in addition to treating phyical pain , emotional and spiritual  pain require consistent and constant treatment. We have a dedicated staff of nurses, social workers, clergy, and voulunteers will work to provide the patients and their families with comfort, dignity, and respect.

Q: What is hospice’s success rate in battling pain?
A: Very high. Using a combination of medications, counseling and therapies, most patients can attain a level of comfort that’s quite acceptable.

Q: Will medication prevent the patient from being able to talk or know what’s happening?
A: Usually not. It’s the goal of hospice to have the patient pain free, but alert as possible. By constantly monitoring the patient, our hospice has been very successful in reaching this goal.

Q: Who insures hospice and if the patient isn’t insured, can they still get hospice?
Hospice services are covered by Medicare and Medicaid for qualified patients. Private insurance providers cover a majority of the costs for qualified patients. However, by using money raised from the community, grants or other contributions, we can provide for anyone who cannot pay. It’s these contributions and grants that enable the hospice to keep up with the ever growing needs of the terminally ill in our community.

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