Why Do I Need Hospice Care?

Hospice Care is services provided to patients and their families and caregivers.

The patients are those that have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, has ceased receiving curative treatment or medication, and that illness has now progressed to a point whereupon death is likely within six months or less if the disease continues along the normal course.

So just WHY do you need hospice?

A hospice team can help you live your life as comfortably as possible for the rest of your life.

Scenario A: Without Hospice

A patient diagnosed with terminal illness lives at home with family.  The patient was originally able to provide care for themselves, but through the effects of the disease process, is now unable to stand without support, unable to swallow foods comfortably, and is experiencing anxiety about their decline and death.  This has caused the patient to require more and more "hands on" care from their family members.  The family increasing discovers that the decline of a family member is very consuming, both of financial and emotional resources, not to mention time requirements.  The disease process is now causing pain and discomfort, so the family member attempts to get a hold of the patients primary care physician, who requires that the patient travels into the office for an assessment, The doctor will likely  prescribe a pain medication, which then must be filled at a local pharmacy.  While you're at the pharmacy filling that prescription, you notice that there are wheelchairs available for purchase.  You think to yourself, "That wouldn't be a bad idea."  So you buy a wheelchair along with the prescription, utilizing your own money and your precious time.  You spend time travelling to local stores for Colace because the pain medication does have a constipating effect.  But your family member's pain is not managed well by the medication, and is now showing signs of real emotional upset, and you just can't stop worrying how you will keep up all this hard work of remembering what doctor gives referrals for what services and how in the world can you research and learn all there is to know about the disease process  and dying process and how to care for your loved one while you are just trying to spend quality time with your loved one for the rest of the time you have together.  


Scenario B: With Hospice

A patient diagnosed with a terminal illness lives with family.  The family decides to call Saint Verena Hospice Care.  Saint Verena Hospice Care performs an assessment of the patient's condition, including physical, emotional, environmental, and social issues.  Saint Verena Hospice Care then develops a Plan of Care, whereupon

  • medications will all be delivered to the patient's home in special dosage-organized "bubble packs", and paid for by the Saint Verena Hospice Care
  • necessary medical equipment will be delivered to the patient's home, and paid for by Saint Verena Hospice Care
  • necessary medical supplies (including diapers, wipes, gloves, specialty lotions and ointments) will be delivered to the patient's home, and paid for by Saint Verena Hospice Care
  • Saint Verena Hospice Care's Doctor will visit the patient monthly to assess the patient's condition and efficacy of any treatments or medications
  • Saint Verena Hospice Care's Registered Nurses and  Licensed Vocational Nurses will visit the patient twice weekly or more to perform periodic reviews and updates to the type of medical care the patient will continue to receive
  • Saint Verena Hospice Care's Certified Home Health Aides will visit the patient twice weekly or more to assist with bathing, dressing, and linen changes
  • Saint Verena Hospice Care's Licensed Clinical Social Workers will visit the patient monthly or more to provide active listening and counselling support to the patient and patient's caregivers
  • Saint Verena Hospice Care's Certified Spiritual Counselors will visit the patient monthly or more to provide spiritual guidance and prayer support to the patient and patient's caregivers.

Now the patient is able to rest comfortably in a specialty hospital bed, that they or their family didn't have to pay for, while a team of people focused on making the patient comfortable and soothed visit the patient personally in the patient's own home, and medications and supplies are delivered direct to the patient's door.  These services that are all coordinated and paid for by Saint Verena Hospice Care now allow the patient and the patient's caregivers to spend a little more time just being with each other, talking about memories or planning final special events.   

Hospice care is about providing that framework of support so that the family can continue to care for their loved one, but without unneccessary stress.  The family remains the primary caregivers, while the hospice team becomes a care management team who really listens to what the caregiver and patient requires to make the patient's remaining life as comfortable as possible.

The real question for our patient's is: Why NOT choose hospice care if you have a terminal illness? If you or a family member or friend has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and is getting to the stage of potential decline within six months, there is NO REASON not to elect hospice coverage.  You will not pay a dime* for the services, the medical equipment, the medications, the supplies, the doctors copays, the nurses visits, the therapy sessions, the PEACE OF MIND!

*Saint Verena Hospice Care is fully certified by MediCare and Medicaid.  Hospice is a covered benefit under MediCare Part A and Medicaid, meaning a person who is enrolled in these programs PAYS NOTHING FURTHER for electing hospice care: hospice care is already included.  Hospice care provided by Saint Verena Hospice Care is also a covered benefit with NO COPAY or DEDUCTIBLE under most major insurance companies, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield carriers, HealthNet, CalOptima, and others.