FOR PATIENTS AND FAMILIES
Hospice is a philosophy of care. It is focused around the patient and their loved family and friends. The goal of hospice is to preserve the quality of life for a terminally ill patient so that they may spend their last days with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones. Hospice aims to treat the patient rather than the disease; therefore, it involves the patient and family in making decisions. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones dying but it provides with presence and specialized knowledge during the dying process. Hospice care is typically given in the home but if needed, it may be given in a hospital, nursing home, or a private hospice facility.
Hospice care is meant for the time when all other treatments can no longer help you, and you are expected to live 6 months or less. Hospice provides you with palliative care, which is treatment to help relieve disease-related symptoms, such as pain, but not cure the disease. You, your family, and your doctor decide together when hospice care should begin.
Often, patients and families don’t start hospice care soon enough because they believe that by starting hospice care, they are giving up. This is not the case. If you get progressively better while in the hospice program, you can be taken out and go into treatment once again. The decision is always in your hands. Hillcrest Hospice strives to bring back your quality of life and make the best of each day during the last stages of your illness.
Hospice care is a benefit of the Medicare program and is also covered by Medicaid. Most private insurance companies, HMO’s and managed care plans also offer hospice care as a benefit.
When a patient enrolls in a hospice program, there is a wide array of services which are to be provided. If the patient does not have symptoms which are out of control and which require Continuous Nursing care, then the patient is placed on the Routine Home Care Level of Services. This level applies whether the patient resides in a facility or in his or her own home. The patient also has 24 hour access to hospice registered nurses who are "on-call" to answer questions and help you deal with situations that may arise after hours. These services are part of the "hospice benefit" reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance.
Often the caregiver is a family member who provides around the clock care. This can become exhausting. When caregivers need a rest from their responsibilities, patients can stay in a hospital or other inpatient care center for up to five days.
IN-PATIENT HOSPICE CARE
If pain or symptoms cannot be controlled at home, the patient can be cared for in a hospital or other inpatient care center. When the symptoms are under control, the patient can return home.
Skilled nursing services are provided in the patient's place of residence to help during a crisis period as determined by the hospice staff, usually for 8 - 24 hours for a few days at a time to manage uncontrolled symptoms or provide end-of-life care.
Looking for more information, let us know.
3400 Calloway Dr., Suite 100
Bakersfield, CA 93312
Bakersfield Community Hospice is a
Joint Commission Accredited Organization
Gold Seal of Approval