Hospice Care in Worcester, South Shore, Boston, North Shore Massachusetts

Is Hospice Care right for your loved one?

The thought of hospice for a loved one can be a frightening one, but it is important to remember, that hospice is a source of help, comfort, and solace.

When a patient has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and a prognosis of less than six months to live, hospice can provide a sense of well-being in the final stage of life when medication is no longer effective. Hospice care is given to patients who are in their final stages of life, with the emphasis on making their remaining time as comfortable as possible.

Hospice care includes information for family members on how to care for their loved one and support for those who face a loss of someone dear to them. Hospice provides a respite for the family and emotional and psychological assistance for the patient to deal with end-of-life issues. In addition, hospice can offer pain management and any medical prescriptions or supplies the patient may need.

Hospice care can be provided at home or in a Hospice center, sometimes located within a hospital or nursing home or in a stand-alone facility. Regardless of where hospice is given, the family is encouraged to remain the primary caregiver for the benefit of the patient. Hospice workers are medical professionals and along with doctors and nurses, the team may include psychologists and clergy.

Options for paying the cost of hospice care include personal insurance; the state-funded Medicaid for people who are financially in need; Medicare Part A (in some instances); and financial assistance from some hospice care centers. When interviewing hospice care centers, be sure to speak with the financial director to determine what assistance may be available.

All hospices are not the same, so it is important to call and visit to make an informed decision about which is right for you and your loved one. Be sure to discuss hospice with your physician, nurses, social worker, and/or clergy. You can also check out the website for the national Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (http://moments.nhpco.org/find-a-hospice) or call their HelpLine at 800-658-8898.

Questions you should be prepared to ask include:

  • What services are provided?
  • What support is available to the family?
  • What roles do the attending physician and hospice play?\
  • What do volunteers do?
  • How are services provided “after hours”?
  • How long for admission once the request is made?
  • Is financial assistance available?

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, www.nhpco.org

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