Frequently Asked Questions
What is hospice care?
Hospice care is designed to meet the complex physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients and their family members. It is a holistic approach to end-of-life care.
What hospice services are available?
Methodist Home Health & Hospice offers a full range of skilled nursing services, pain management, medical supplies and equipment, physical therapy, bath aide, nutritional guidance, respite care, counseling, spiritual support, bereavement support and volunteers. All services are managed under a physician.
When is hospice an appropriate choice?
Hospice care is designed to help terminally ill patients and their family members when the patient’s life expectancy is six months or less, if the disease runs its normal course. Common medical conditions that may prompt patients and their families to choose hospice care include:
- Heart disease
- Neurological disorders
- Respiratory disease
- End-stage kidney disease
- End-stage liver disease
- Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Does insurance cover the cost of hospice care?
Medicare covers the cost of hospice care when a physician certifies a terminal diagnosis. Most private insurance companies also offer hospice benefits. Be sure to verify specific coverage details with your insurance provider.
Where can I receive hospice care?
Hospice care comes to the patient. Hospice services can be delivered at virtually any location, including a home, apartment, hospital, care facility or specialized hospice center.
What happens if a disease goes into remission or a new treatment becomes available?
Hospice is a choice to focus on care over cure, not to abandon all hope. Hospice care can be discontinued if the decision is made to resume aggressive treatment.
What are the benefits of hospice care?
- Improved quality of life
- Independence and comfort
- Greater pain and symptom control
- Help coping with anxiety, fear or loneliness throughout the end-of-life journey
- Opportunities to reunite and celebrate with family and friends
- Control over end-of-life decisions
- Support from an interdisciplinary team of trained hospice professionals
- Family-centered approach
- A more dignified, peaceful death in the comfort and privacy of home
How do I get hospice care started for someone?
A doctor's order is needed. A family member may begin the process with a call to the doctor or Methodist Hospice who will then contact the doctor. The doctor may ask that someone from hospice come and do an assessment of the patient and provide information about hospice. This may help the patient and family in their decision about when hospice is the appropriate choice.
What does advance-care planning include?
It includes getting information on the types of life-sustaining treatments available. You decide which types you would or wouldn’t want if you are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness or suffer a serious accident. This information is called an advance directive.
What are advance directives?
The term “advance directive” describes a living, which will allows you to write down your wishes about medical treatments at the end of life, and a medical power of attorney, which allows you to name someone as your health care agent to make medical decisions on your behalf if you can’t speak for yourself.
What should I do after my advance directive is signed?
Keep the original in a safe and easily accessible place. Make several photocopies and give them to your health care agent, your doctor, and family members. Keeping a card in your wallet that gives contact information for your health care agents and others who have copies of your advance directive can help ensure your wishes are known and honored.