Putting a loved one in hospice can be a major adjustment, both for the senior and for any caregivers. Hospice is a necessary step, however, for elders whose health is progressively going downhill. When treatment is no longer an option, it is important to begin the steps of hospice care and focus on quality of life.
Acknowledge the Need
The first step to making the choice of hospice care is to acknowledge the need. If your loved one’s health is deteriorating, it is important to focus on the quality of life for the final days. Talk to a health care provider and see if hospice is the right step to take.
Figuring out the finances associated with hospice care is the next step. Speak with an insurance representative to find out what is and is not covered. If your loved one has Medicare Part A coverage, this policy does encompass hospice care. Most state Medicaid programs, as well as most private health insurances, will cover hospice care. Some services might require a co-payment.
Make a Choice
After you have arranged the finances to pay for hospice, it is time to make the choice. Look into local hospice centers and find out what services and care are offered. Find out what the hospice center’s policies are, including how and when they administer medication. Make a list of your favorite centers and contact them.
Set up an Interview
Once you have decided on your top choices of hospice centers, contact them and set up an interview. This will give you a chance to speak with a hospice staff member in person. Find out who will be giving care to your loved one, and if possible, arrange a meeting with the nurse. When you make your final decision, you will sign consent forms and care will begin promptly.
Get the Home Ready
As soon as you have arranged for hospice care, it is important to get the home ready. Ask a staff member what equipment will be used to administer care, and rearrange furniture to accommodate any large pieces of equipment.