Page 18 - BusinessWest 2021 Senior Planning Guide
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Nearing the End
Questions and Answers About Hospice Care By SHARON WRIGHT
Q: What is hospice care?
A: Hospice care is considered to be the gold standard for quality and compassionate care
for people facing a life-limiting illness.
Q. What do I need to qualify for hospice?
A: A serious or life-limiting diagnosis (with a six- month or shorter prognosis based upon normal disease progression) and a physician order.
Q. Who will take care of me from hospice?
A: An interdisciplinary team collaborates with the patient, family, and their physician to develop a plan of care that meets each patient’s needs. The team is comprised of a hospice palliative-certified medical director, registered nurse case managers, home health aides, medical social workers, a nurse practitioner, chaplains, bereavement services, and trained volunteers.
Q. What else does the hospice benefit include?
A. It includes medical equipment and supplies, as well as medications that are related to the patient’s hospice diagnosis. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and dietary counseling are also provided when appropriate, as well as bereavement services that provide grief counseling beginning at the start of care and extending for the
family for up to 13 months afterward.
Q. How often does the hospice nurse come?
A. Hospice visits are provided by following the patient’s plan of care and as needed for symptom management. Hospice on-call triage is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Q. Where does hospice care take place?
A: Hospice services can be provided wherever the patient resides. This includes the patient’s home, a
skilled-nursing facility, long-term care, and assisted or independent living.
Q. When will I be ready for hospice?
A: Your doctor and the hospice medical director use their best clinical judgment to certify that the patient is terminally ill with a life expectancy of six months or less if their disease runs it normal course.
Q: What if I’m not sure if I’m ready?
A: Experts agree that hospice is most beneficial when provided early. Research shows patients who received early care lived three months longer than average, had fewer symptoms, and experienced higher quality of life.
Q: Does going on hospice mean I’m going to die?
A: A common misconception is that hospice is for the very end of life, but this is not the case. Receiving hospice care does not mean giving up hope or that death is imminent. If a patient’s condition improves or their disease goes into remission, the patient has the right to discharge and return to traditional aggressive curative measures. n
Sharon Wright is interim executive director of the Overlook VNA and Hospice in Charlton; (866) 753- 5429.
  “Receiving hospice care does not mean giving up hope or that death is imminent.”
   That Home Feeling Starts with Us.
At Overlook VNA and Hospice, we treat our patients and staff the way they deserve: like family. We pride ourselves in our culture, and provide the care and atmosphere you need to feel right at home.
You aren’t only a patient here, you’re part of our family.
Call Today
to learn more about our senior options:
  88 Masonic Home Rd. Charlton, MA 01507 •
   18 AUGUST 2021

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