What if I told you there was a service that was covered by medicare that would send in a whole team to help care for your loved one. That service is Hospice. Don’t run away! Hospice is not about dying, it is about living.
The goal is to help you live what ever time you have left in the best way possible. Some people think that hospice comes in and knocks people out with heavy duty drugs so they are not in pain.This could not be farther from the truth. The idea is to try to keep you out of pain with the least amount of medication to do that. “We want people to live their life and enjoy their time left” replied Sandy-Administrator of a Hospice company in Houston. If you want to take that last trip to see you family in California, we want to help you do that if at all possible. This is not about giving up.
3 services that Hospice provides that are invaluable
#1 They bring in a whole team. A nurse, social worker, caregivers, volunteers and even a chaplin. This is truly a holistic model of healing. You can receive the benefits of the whole team or only those you want and need. If you do not want the chaplain or social worker to visit, that’s okay.
#2 They will get supplies and equipment you need. When mom came home, Hospice took care of getting the hospital bed, oxygen and everything else we needed to make her comfortable. The family was overwhelmed with emotion. This was one less thing off our plate.
#3 Family support. Hospice takes care of the whole family and helps everyone process their emotions with the support they need.
No it isn’t just for people who have cancer.
This is a common misconception a lot of people have. But this myth is busted! There are a variety of symptoms and diseases hospice can treat. The following diseases may play a part in a hospice referral. Often times people will have more than one disease and the combination may contribute to a life expectancy of 6 months or less.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Neurologic Disease (CVA,ALS,MS,Parkinson’s)
- Renal Failure
- Liver Disease
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Should I wait for my doctor to suggest hospice?
The truth is, a lot of doctors are uncomfortable with talking about these issues. They often have not been educated about Hospice and do not realize all of the benefits a family can receive.
But I want to Stay in My Own Home!
And you can!! Hospice is a service that can be provided in your home, assisted living, nursing home or wherever you may reside. Houston Hospice providers are plentiful and can provide compassionate care to their patients from the first day of a life limiting illness to the last. Hospice provides services to manage symptoms, relieve pain and give emotional and spiritual support during this transition. Hospice companies help the whole family and understand that the grieving process has started long before the one you love has passed.
If I go on Hospice I won’t be able to Keep My Own Doctor
This is another myth busted!! You can keep your own doctor or if you choose you can use the medical director that is on staff with the Hospice company you choose. It’s your choice.
What if Mom falls and hurts herself, can she still get therapy.
Houston Hospice providers offer services covered by Medicare and most insurance with a physician’s orders and can provide:
- Medical Management including; Physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapies, medical equipment and supplies, medications, continuous care during crisis and advanced nursing care.
- Personal Care Assistance including; Bathing and grooming, routine breaks for caregivers and incontinence supplies.
- Emotional and Spiritual Support including; crisis counseling, spiritual counseling, social service, respite care and bereavement services.
Ask most anyone that has used one of the many Houston Hospice providers and they will probably tell you their only regret is that they did not bring Hospice in sooner. The benefits and support these companies are able to offer families during this critical time is treasured.
With so many companies to choose from where do you start to find a Houston Area Hospice provider?
This website is a great place to start. Read the profiles of several of the companies and then choose two to interview. If you are in crisis make sure you have someone to help you make decisions when you conduct the interview. Have a list of questions ready but most importantly tap in to how you feel. Which company did you feel a connection with? Your gut will usually help you choose the right Houston Hospice provider. This is a very personal service. It is important that family members who are involved with day to day care have a choice in this decision. Having a hospice team that you are comfortable with and trust is the most important ingredient in this service. You do NOT have to use the one your doctor or hospital recommends. It is your choice!