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First Timer’s Guide to Hospice Care

What is hospice care?


According to the National Institute of Aging, hospice care is an approach that focuses on the care, comfort, and quality of life of a person who is nearing the end-of-life journey. When an individual has a life-limiting illness and curative treatment is not an option, hospice services provide the necessary comfort care and support. Hospice care offers numerous benefits to the patient and his or her family. These may include:

  • Pain management
  • Assistance of a personal aide for a certain number of hours or 24/7
  • An interdisciplinary health team consisting of physicians, nurses, therapists, and specialists
  • Social work services
  • Spiritual counseling
  • Alterative comfort treatments like pet therapy, music therapy, or art therapy
  • Grief support and bereavement services

How can I pay for hospice care?

Hospice services are covered by most private insurance plans as well as Medicare. This allows patients and their families to receive hospice care without the worry of paying for services.

What is the first step in considering or obtaining hospice care?

The first step is to have a conversation with your healthcare provider or your loved one’s healthcare provider. This conversation can help you understand the medical condition, prognosis, and end-of-life care options. It’s important to understand all available options to make an informed decision that is right for you and your family. It can be a difficult decision-making process and you may want to discuss options with family members, friends, or a spiritual advisor for help in making this decision.

If you decide to pursue hospice care, the hospice provider will determine the needs of you or your loved one by conducting an assessment. This allows the provider to develop a personalized care plan that is tailored to the specific needs and wishes of the patient. Hospice care is a choice, and you and your loved ones have the right to ask questions to make a confident decision that is best for your family.

How can I start a hospice conversation with my terminally ill loved one?

Initiating a hospice conversation with a loved one who has a life-limiting illness can be challenging. It’s an important conversation to have, however, to ensure that the patient’s needs and wishes are honored. 

  • To start the conversation, choose a quiet and comfortable setting free from distractions.
  • Be honest and empathetic about the medical condition, treatment, and prognosis. Express empathy and support.
  • Explain clearly that hospice care provides comfort and support rather than curative treatment.
  • Ask open-ended questions that allow your loved one to express thoughts and feelings. Be an attentive listener to sincerely understand what your loved one feels and wishes. Examples of open-ended questions are: “How are you feeling about your health condition?” “What are your concerns or fears about the future?”
  • Be reassuring to your loved one, explaining that hospice care is intended to help the patient live most comfortably and that their wishes will be respected.

The end-of-life journey is an emotional time for the patient and his or her loved ones. Honor and process each emotion as it comes, and be patient in decision-making. Consider all options with your health care professional and loved ones.

If you choose to pursue hospice care in the Medina, Ohio area, give us a call at Remembrance Hospice to learn more about our services. We offer professional hospice care and comfort care that honors the unique circumstances of each individual patient. We create a supportive environment, and our skilled caregivers are kind and compassionate professionals. Contact us at 330-952-1930 for more information on our hospice services in Ohio.

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