Your Guide to Hospice Care

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If you have an aging loved one facing a life-limiting illness who is
nearing their final days, it may be time to consider hospice care. While
end-of-life care is never easy to discuss, hospice can provide the
support your loved one - and you and your family - wil need during this
chal enging time. Every patient with home hospice services has a
hospice team that wil make regular visits in your home. Visits may
consist of anything from evaluating pain to educating the patient and
family on medication. It is our goal to empower you, while providing
comfort. 24/7 on-call services are also available for emergencies and to
avoid unnecessary hospital visits. Below are answers to some of the
most common questions regarding hospice care.

What Is Hospice Care?
Hospice care provides a wide range of services for both the
patient and family. Your hospice agency will assign a RN
Case Manager to oversee your loved one's care and
provide resources for any services you may require above
and beyond standard hospice needs. This could include
something such as access to a caregiver support group.
Once the Case Manager has assessed your loved one's
needs, a schedule wil be arranged for a hospice RN to
assess and become familiar with the patient's physical and
emotional needs. Our goal is to provide comfort. By
knowing our patient on the "good days" we are better able
to plan and coordinate care when he/she is having a bad
day. The nurse will work directly with your loved one's primary care physician, which will
reduce the frequency of outside healthcare appointments. The nurse may also order medical
health aides as needed. This could include a hospital bed, oxygen tank, continence care items,
and other tools to help keep your loved one safe, clean, and comfortable.
Aside from the nurse, hospice may also provide a home health aide who can assist with bathing
and other non-medical care needs, a chaplain for spiritual care needs, and hospice volunteers
for additional moral and emotional support.
Hospice will set a schedule for how frequently
they will visit your loved one, which will range
based on your specific needs and the progression
of the illness. However, you will have access to a
24-hour emergency line.
Hospice care typically begins within 24 hours of a
physician referral, as long as medical equipment
and pharmacy needs are accommodated.

How Do You Find The Best Hospice Services For
Your Loved One?
In most cases your loved one's primary care
physician will recommend hospice care. At that
point, the patient and family can choose
whichever hospice provider they prefer. Most
hospice companies will require a referral from a
healthcare provider--and will continually work
with a healthcare provider while managing your
loved one's care.
If your loved one does not have a regular
healthcare provider, you can also research local
hospice providers by contacting or working with:
The Hospital Discharge Planner
The Local Agency On Aging
The American Cancer Society
Your Church
Your Loved One's Social Worker
Also keep in mind that the Department of Health and Medicare can provide a list of local
hospice agencies.
How Does Hospice Help
You And Your Loved One?
While hospice staff is visiting with you in your
home, their presence can make a world of
difference. Not only does hospice al ow your loved
one to spend their final days in the comfort of
their own home, surrounded by friends and family,
but they keep your loved one as comfortable as
possible.
There are healthcare-related concerns that need

to be managed during your loved ones final days, and hospice will provide guidance and
solutions. This includes managing pain, guiding you on how to reposition and transfer your
loved one, increased frequency or changes to medications, and guidance for continence care.
The hospice volunteer is available to help take some of the daily tasks off of your plate--this
might include running errands, light housekeeping, basic meal preparation, emotional support,
and respite care so that family members can catch up on sleep--or get out of the house for a
few hours.
How Is Hospice Paid For?
The hospice company you reach out to wil contact
your loved one's insurance provider to determine
their eligibility and coverage. In most cases
Medicare covers hospice services.
Hospice care can provide peace of mind for you and
your family and comfort for your declining loved
one. While this will be a challenging time for you
and your family, hospice will help to lighten your
load--and ensure that your loved one has al the
support they require. Good Samaritan Hospice, a
mission of Concordia, offers in-home hospice care
in Allegheny, Butler, Beaver, Armstrong, Lawrence,
Westmoreland, Mercer, and Clarion counties, and
inpatient hospice services in Wexford, Cabot and Heritage Valley Hospital in Beaver. To learn
more about how hospice care can provide support to you and your loved ones, visit www.good-
samaritanhospice.org today.
www.concordialm.org