How Hospice Care Benefits Families and Patients

Hospice care at The Bridge Care Suites is designed to provide comfort to terminally ill people who are nearing the end of their life. The focus of hospice care is not to cure the disease but to provide the highest quality of life for the patient for the time that remains. It is often said that “hospice treats the person, not the disease.”

Hospice care is usually for a person who is terminally ill and is expected to live six months or less, but services can be provided for as long as the patient’s doctor or hospice care team certifies that the condition is life-limiting. Many who receive hospice services have been diagnosed with cancer, dementia, heart disease, kidney failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, 40 percent of all dying patients in the United States receive some type of hospice care. Hospice programs are usually selected by recommendation through a doctor, nurse, social worker, counselor or family member.

The Benefits of Hospice Care

The benefits of hospice care empower patients and their caregivers. Patients can control how they live out their final months; caregivers can benefit from physical and emotional support while spending quality time with their loved ones.

Hospice services can also help families and loved ones by providing counseling, support and respite care during a difficult time. Health care professionals at The Bridge Care Suites provide hospice care to reduce pain and focus on physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs for the patient.

Choosing hospice care allows the patient to bypass life-prolonging treatment and die with dignity in a comfortable setting instead of undergoing numerous invasive medical procedures. Patients can stay at a facility like The Bridge Care Suites instead of taking multiple trips to the doctor’s office or hospital.

Choosing the Right Hospice

It is vital to investigate individual hospice programs as they can vary greatly. A quality hospice provider like The Bridge Care Suites is reviewed, licensed and certified by the state, and the medical director board is certified in hospice and palliative care.

Ultimately, there are lots of ways to pick a quality hospice provider. One of the most popular is by word-of-mouth from a trusted relative or friend. Your physician may also have a list of recommendations, but it is important to do your due diligence and visit the facility and ask questions.

The professional staff at The Bridge Care Suites can answer all your questions concerning hospice. Important questions to ask a potential provider include:

  • How quickly can a hospice plan be implemented?
  • Are there any services, medications or equipment that the hospice does not provide?
  • How quickly can we expect pain and/or symptoms to be managed?

The true benefit of a hospice facility is that no time is wasted providing immediate relief to the patient. The main goal of The Bridge Care Suites is to first get patients comfortable, stable and out of pain. From there, the doctors and staff will craft a hospice plan that best fits the patient’s needs.

A common misconception of hospice care is that the patient must sign a do-not-resuscitate order (DNR). This is not true. Choosing to have a DNR is a private discussion between family members and their healthcare providers and is not a requirement to receive comfort through hospice care.

How to Pay for Hospice Care

Hospice care is a cost-effective alternative to the exceptionally high costs of hospitals and institutional care. Most hospice patients at The Bridge Care Suites have their costs covered by Medicare through the Medicare Hospice Benefit.

Medicaid also pays for hospice care. Medicaid provides benefits that are like the Medicare Hospice Benefits.

The Veteran’s Health Administration covers hospice care as well.

Most private insurance companies provide some coverage for hospice care. (You would need to check with your insurer to determine whether hospice care is covered and under what circumstances.) Among private insurers, there are variations in covered benefits and qualifications.

A Complete Hospice Team

A hospice care team includes a primary care doctor, hospice doctor or medical director, nurses, family members, home health aides, social workers, spiritual counselors, bereavement counselors, pharmacists, trained volunteers, therapists and other medical professionals. The Bridge Care Suites is an all-servicing facility with everything under one roof.

Doctors are selected by the patient/caregiver and oversee the care plan. Nurses administer routine care and coordinate the hospice care team while home health aides provide extra support, like bathing, dressing and eating.

Medical professionals such as speech, physical and occupational therapists can help improve basic motor skills and other life tools. Pharmacists contribute medication oversight and make recommendations regarding the best ways to relieve symptoms, pain and suffering.

Social workers, bereavement counselors and spiritual advisors like chaplains, priests and lay ministers provide guidance and support for family members. They can also provide referrals to other outside support systems if needed. Volunteers and additional medical professionals contribute added support through respite care and other programs.

Hospice Rooms at The Bridge Care Suites

At The Bridge Care Suites, patients gain a sense of relief and control. Regular visits from their nurse and hospice aide get pain and other symptoms under control and numerous prevent trips to the hospital.

The Bridge Care Suites has 57 private rooms that are comfortable and spacious with plenty of room for loved ones. Beautifully appointed private rooms have more than 178 feet of living space, flatscreen TV with all your favorite channels, lots of storage and a private bathroom complete with individual showers in each suite. Panoramic windows provide ample sunlight and lots of fresh air.

Semi-private rooms at The Bridge Care Suites offer more than 288 square feet of living space, are climate controlled for utmost comfort, and provide plenty of space and privacy to relax.

At any point, hospice care at The Bridge Care Suites can be stopped, changed or paused depending on the patient’s current condition. It is common for a patient’s condition to improve to a point where hospice care can be stopped (or paused) until it is needed again.

For more information on private suites, special-care rooms or semi-private rooms, contact us now! Call us at (217) 787-0000 to discuss hospice options and services.

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