Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice is comprehensive type of care for people with a terminal illness. Hospice is not a place, but rather a service that goes to the patient’s residence (in a home, a nursing facility, or an elderly care facility). Care is provided by the hospice team which includes doctors, nurses, home health aides, social workers, spiritual counselors, and volunteers who visit the patients periodically. The overall goal of hospice care is to ensure that the patients are comfortable and well supported.
Who Qualifies for Hospice Care?
Hospice was created to care for patients with a life limiting illness. If a patient has an advanced disease such as Cancer, Alzheimers, Heart Disease, Lung Disease, Kidney Disease, or any other serious illness, they may qualify for hospice. It is for those patients who want live the remaining days of their lives with comfort in the place that they call home.
How Does Hospice Help?
Hospice helps by sending medical professionals on periodic visits to monitor changes in patients' conditions and addressing these changes. Hospice provides education and resources for family members and caregivers to better care for the hospice patient. Hospice is available 24 hours a day and only a phone call away. In emergency situations, a nurse can always be sent out right away.
What Services Does Hospice Provide?
Hospice will provide its patients with all of the necessary medical equipment (hospital bed, wheel chair, oxygen machine, etc.), medical supplies (diapers, wipes, chux, etc.) and medications. Hospice will conveniently send these items to the patient’s home upon request
How Does Hospice Operate?
The Hospice team will visit the patients periodically to monitor changed in their condition. A hospice physician will supervise the care and make adjustments as needed. Nurses, Home Health Aides, Social Workers, and Spiritual Counselors will closely monitor the physical and emotional well being of our patients. The frequency of hospice care visits depends largely on the patient’s medical condition and needs.
Who Pays for Hospice Care?
Hospice care is usually fully covered by a patient’s medical insurance. Hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medi-Cal, HMOs, and most private insurance carriers. Hospice is usually free of cost to hospice patients.
Can We Choose to Stop Hospice Once We Start?
Yes. A hospice patient can choose to stop hospice care at any time. They can also choose to re-start hospice care at any time thereafter, so long as they are still qualified.
Does Hospice Mean Giving Up Hope?
Absolutely not. Hospice is about adding quality and comfort to a patient’s life. Hospice will neither speed up nor slow down the dying process, but rather serves as an additional support system during this time of need.
Can I Continue to See My Primary Care Physician or Specialist?
Yes. The hospice will coordinate its care with any doctor that you may want to continue to see. A hospice physician can visit patients at home as well.
Does Hospice Provide Nursing Care 24 Hours a Day?
Hospice has nurses available to visit patients in emergency situations at all times. The hospice agency is available to patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If a patient meets the criteria for Continuous Care, the hospice may provide bed side nurses for up to 24 hours a day until the symptoms are managed and controlled.
To see if you or a loved one qualifies for hospice care, call to schedule a free in home assessment. Five Star Home Hospice provides free in home assessments to help determine whether or not you hospiceeligibility.