Hospice care usually targets patients with less than 6 months left. However, hospice care is also a great service for seniors who need an expert in pain management. Hospice services are slightly different than home health care services, and different types of people benefit from them. In order to find the right hospice care program for your senior, there is a list of questions you need to ask before making a final decision. The list of questions differs from one senior to another, but these are the ones to begin with.
Questions to Start With
First, try to find a recommendation from your friends, family, doctors, or caregivers. Caregivers should know how to find the best hospice care and what services your elderly adult needs. If you don’t know any caregivers, perhaps someone from your family or the people you know have more information about hospice providers.
Are they new? It is always better to check how long they have been in the business. The longer the agency has existed, the more experience they have. Perhaps the agency is new, but people working there are quite experienced. Ask them about previous patients and services they used to provide with their previous agency.
Are they certified by Medicare? This is a good question to ask right in the beginning.
Find Out More About Hospice Services
What services do they provide? Find out the list of services the hospice provider offers. If you want to find the right hospice care for your senior, the list must match their needs. In case your loved one has some special needs, ask them if they are able to provide such services and how much it would cost.
Do they make a personalized care plan? Creating a care plan is a good way for all involved to know what the goals and expectations are. This way, everyone will know what the role of the hospice caregiver is and what services the caregiver provides.
How quickly can they make changes? Once you determine a personalized care plan, the hospice caregiver should follow it. However, if it appears that your loved one isn’t reacting well on certain medications, find out how quickly they will make changes. Do they stick to the plan or adapt to a new situation?
How often are the visits, and what is their availability? Do they work on weekends and holidays? Do they work at night? In other words: what is their availability? What if you urgently need a hospice team member on Easter at 4 a.m.? Will there be anyone to respond to your call? Also, check out whether they provide services 24/7. There may be times when you need them in the middle of the night, so it is better to know their working hours from the beginning.
What if they cannot treat certain symptoms at home? Find out if they have special hospice facilities for treating symptoms they cannot treat at home. Hospice care usually means treating patients in their homes. However, sometimes seniors require a higher level of care that cannot be done at home.
Make Sure You Know What Is Included in the Price
What services do they offer for the price? Before signing a contract with a hospice provider, make it clear what is included in the price. What are additional services you need to pay, are the medications part of the price or do you need to buy them on your own, do you need to pay extra for the special equipment, etc.
What are the potential additional expenses? Ask them what some common unexpected situations are that are not included in the price.
Learn more about the pros and cons of hospice care that will help you to find the right hospice care provider for your elderly loved one.
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