Choosing hospice care isn't always easy

Choosing hospice care isn't always easy
Best time to check out options is before you need them, suggests expert.

(HealthDay)—Hospice care is an option for people who have terminal illnesses, but choosing the right hospice isn't always easy, experts say.

"Choosing a hospice to care for yourself or a loved one in the final months or even days of life is an important and stressful process," J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), said in a news release from the group.

"Each hospice offers unique services and partners with specific community providers—so it's important to contact the hospices in your area and ask them questions to find the one with the services and support that are right for you," he explained.

You may be able to get a recommendation from your doctor, other or relatives and friends that have used hospice services in the past.

The NHPCO outlined some questions you need to ask when choosing a hospice:

  • Is the facility Medicare-certified, is it accredited by a national organization, and when was the last state or federal survey of the program conducted?
  • What services can the hospice be expected to provide and how are services provided after-hours?
  • How and where does the hospice provide short-term inpatient care and what services do hospice volunteers offer?
  • How long does enrollment typically take once someone asks the hospice for services?

The question of when to begin must be decided by patients and families based on their unique needs, but it's a good idea to learn about care options long before it's needed, the NHPCO suggests.

More information: Learn more about hospice care from the Hospice Foundation of America.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Louisiana shelves cut to Medicaid hospice program

Jan 24, 2013

(AP)—Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has scrapped plans to shutter the state's Medicaid hospice program in February, meaning the state will continue to provide end-of-life care to people on their death beds ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

3 hours ago

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

4 hours ago

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

User comments