Today, we venture into the depths of a conversation that no one wants to be forced to have. However, it is one of the service lines that we hold in the highest esteem and feel the deepest respect for. Many people view hospice care as the end of the line and often have a difficult time transitioning a loved one into that phase of their life because they feel as though it means that they are giving up on them.
Although it is an emotionally taxing concept to come to grips with, there comes a time while caring for a loved one with terminal illness when hospice care becomes the best option for them as well as for your family. If and when there comes a point where curative medicine can only do so much and the patient would prefer to transition to comfort care, Catholic Hospice has an incredibly compassionate and professional team that is prepared to help treat the patient, rather than simply their illness, during this life change. There is also tremendous support offered for the families and caregivers by way of respite care, counseling, help with any associated paperwork, as well as family education regarding patient care and what to expect during that time.
At Catholic Hospice, patients are treated with the utmost respect and dignity to ensure the highest quality of life while having their symptoms managed with medicine and specialized therapies and receiving spiritual and emotional support tailored to the patient’s religious beliefs. The staff takes such pride in being able to bring comfort and solace to patients and their families, while also helping them realize that every stage of life is worthy of respect and is profound in its own way. Catholic Hospice is typically administered in the home, however, there is also an inpatient facility.
To answer some of the most common questions people tend to have about hospice care, and Catholic Hospice, specifically, below you can find some of the frequently asked questions from the Catholic Health Services website:
1) What is Hospice?
Hospice is a special kind of care for people facing life-limiting illnesses, their families and their caregivers that treats the physical needs of the patient as well as their emotional and spiritual needs. Hospice care involves a core interdisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers who provide medical, psychological, and spiritual support for the terminally ill, and assistance to their families. Focused on pain control and symptom management, the care is primarily based in the home, enabling families to remain together in peace, comfort, and dignity.
2) What are the advantages of Hospice care?
Choosing the appropriate care for you or your loved one is never a decision that comes easy. Regardless of age, diagnosis, or financial standing, it’s important to have a clear understanding about the care choices that are available and to recognize which is best for each person’s specific needs.
Hospice treats the person, instead of the disease; focuses on the family, instead of just the individual; and emphasizes the quality of life, instead of its duration.
Hospice uses the combined knowledge and skills of an interdisciplinary team of professionals, including physicians, nurses, home care aides, social workers, spiritual caregivers, counselors, and volunteers.
Hospice care is a cost-effective alternative to services provided in hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutional settings.
Hospice is the preferred choice of health care delivery for the terminally ill and their families.
3) What services do Hospices provide?
Medicare-certified hospices typically provide nursing care; social services; physician services; counseling services (including spiritual and dietary); home care aide; bereavement services; physical and occupational therapies; and speech-language pathology services. Short term, in-patient care (for respite, pain control, and symptom management), continuous care in the home, and medical equipment and supplies (including drugs and biologicals) are also available. Additional services can be offered. Therefore, the range of hospice services may vary from program to program. Care is structured to keep families together in the least restrictive environment possible.
4/ Who is eligible for Hospice?
Hospice is available to all terminally ill individuals and their families regardless of their age, gender, race, nationality, creed, sexual orientation, physical condition, availability of primary caregiver, or ability to pay. Anyone can refer a patient to Catholic Hospice. To be admitted, a patient must:
• Agree to treatment aimed at comfort rather than cure.
• Have an incurable disease with a life expectancy of six months or less, as certified by a physician. Catholic Hospice serves patient with all diagnoses, including: AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Cardiac Disease, Congenital Disorders, Gastro-Intestinal Disease, Hematologic Disorders, Neurological Disorders and Renal Disease.
• Live in Miami-Dade or Monroe County at the time of service.
For more information, or to make a referral, call the Admissions Department at 305.822.2380
5) Who pays for Hospice care?
Hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance and managed care plans. Hospices heavily rely on grants and community support to fund services for patients with little or no insurance. Catholic Hospice raises funds for indigent patients who have no insurance or whose insurance does not cover all costs of care.
For more information about Catholic Hospice as well as any of the other services that Catholic Health Services offers, please visit www.catholichealthservices.org and connect with us on Facebook.