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How to Find a Hospice

How to Find a Hospice: Questions to Ask

Hospice care focuses on maintaining or improving quality of life during the final stage of a disease or illness. Initially, hospice care was focused on patients in the advanced stages of cancer. Today, hospice care has expanded to cover a variety of illnesses from kidney disease to advanced Alzheimer’s and dementia. According to the Hospice Foundation of America, more than half of current hospice patients have a non-cancerous condition.

At Santé Hospice, every effort is made to ensure the patient’s well-being and comfort, and support family members during this difficult time. Our hospice teams include attending physicians and registered nurses (RN), as well as social workers, volunteers and chaplains for a comprehensive program that addresses both physical and emotional needs. Hospice care is provided wherever your loved one calls home.

If you are considering hospice for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to make sure the care program you select meets your needs and offers the best possible care. To help you get started, we’ve provided a helpful checklist of questions you should ask when looking for a hospice.

  • Is the program in-house or at a facility? Ask for details about the program and care team. Santé’s in-home hospice program allows your loved one to receive end-of-life care with comfort and dignity. Attending physicians, directors, RNs, social workers and home health aides or certified nursing assists participate as part of the hospice care team.
  • Who is eligible? Determine what the requirements and limitations of the program are before you go any further.
  • Do you have references or testimonials? Ask the care provider directly, and look at online reviews from families who have used their services.
  • How is palliative care administered? Get the lowdown on how and when care is given.
  • What are the limits of care?
  • Do you require a family caregiver? Some facilities require that a family member be present during waking hours to care for the patient. Find out what your care options are, and if there are nursing assistants or care workers available to help relieve family members when needed.
  • How can I be sure that my loved one is well taken care of?
  • How are the staff members (RNs, care workers) trained? Don’t be afraid to check credentials.
  • Can your facility deal with my specific situation?
  • What is the emergency response time? Inpatient care will generally have a quick response time in emergency situations. If your loved one will be cared for at home, ask if there is a 24-hour emergency line to call should you need help. At Santé, hospice teams are available 24/7 to patients and their families.
  • Are you Medicare-certified?
  • How much does end-of-life care cost? The last thing you want to think about right now is money, but It’s important to know how your loved one’s care costs will be taken care of. Hospitals and care facilities are often thousands of dollars, while in-home programs provide end-of-life care in a familiar setting at a fraction of the cost.
  • What support options are available for family members? Find out if bereavement or grief counseling will be provided. Santé’s hospice support team includes a non-denominational chaplain and volunteers to provide comfort and companionship to families.

Compassion, understanding and support are the building blocks of a comprehensive hospice program. By asking questions up front, you can ensure that your loved one will be comfortable and well-cared-for during this time of transition. For more information on Santé Hospice programs, CLICK HERE or call 480-748-4300.

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