When a medical professional recommends hospice care for you or a loved one, it can be an overwhelming moment. Suddenly, the fact that the end of life is near becomes much more of a reality than it has ever been. While this can be the cause of a lot of mixed emotions, it is important to recognize that this is probably the most compassionate and dignified way for a terminally ill person to live out the remainder of their days.
Hospice care generally takes place in the patient’s home, nursing home, or occasionally in a hospital if the person requires inpatient services. Rather than focusing on curing an illness, hospice care focuses on caring for the patient and making them as comfortable as possible as their time comes to an end. This usually means that the patient’s quality of life starts to improve as soon as they begin hospice care.
Why Finding the Right Provider Matters
Hospice agencies are all governed by Medicare guidelines, so their basic services are all the same. Because of this, it may be difficult to determine what the differences are between the various facilities, and you might wonder why it matters which service you choose.
There are, however, some differences to consider, such as the location of the staff, the types of medical professionals the hospice employs, whether the hospice is non-profit or privately owned, and what levels of care they offer.
How to Start Your Search When Choosing a Hospice Provider
Usually, the healthcare professional who recommended hospice to you will be able to address these differences among your options. It is probable that they have referred many people to various care providers, and they have likely received feedback that they can share with you.
You may also be able to speak with family or friends who have had experience with hospice providers. They may be in a position to give you more honest or personalized opinions on whether you or your loved one will feel safe and comfortable with the providers they have encountered.
Finally, the internet is a helpful place to get an overview of your options, particularly as it will help you to see which providers are available in your desired location. In addition to search engines like Google, Medicare’s Hospice Compare is a reliable resource that will allow you to see side-by-side comparisons of the various providers you are considering.
Speak to an Elder Law Attorney
When it comes to hospice care, everybody’s needs are different according to their own unique situations. There are many factors to consider, and you want to make sure that the hospice provider you choose will offer the amount of comfort and care you require. Speaking with an experienced <insert city> elder law attorney can help you to understand what steps you need to take so that you or your loved one can live the remainder of life with dignity and compassion. If you have questions or need assistance getting started, please feel free to contact our Essex County elder law attorneys at (978) 825-0033 to schedule a consultation.