Hospice care makes it possible for patients nearing the end of their life to be as comfortable as possible while also supporting them and their families through an emotional time. This care provides both medical and emotional support that could include pain management, therapy, counseling services, and anything else the patient or their family members need. Hospice care can occur in a patient’s home, or it could be offered through a hospital or another facility such as a nursing home or assisted living community. A care team will provide all services and could include doctors, nurses, certified nursing assistants, therapists, social workers, and any other member that can help.
Hospice care has been proven to be beneficial to terminal patients. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice points to numerous studies that show hospice patients have a better quality of life and suffer from less depression than their non-hospice counterparts. Hospice can also help prolong a patient’s life and allow them to live with less pain.
The state of California requires a license for all hospice care agencies through the Department of Public Health. While it isn’t required, some providers might seek accreditation from independent boards like the Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP). Agencies might also be Medicare or Medicaid approved.
Once you ensure that the agency has the proper license, you should look at a few other things. They should have a history of quality and compassionate care. They should also have a variety of services that can meet your needs and they should be skilled at handling care coordination and scheduling. Your health care provider might have a few referrals, and you can talk to your friends and family to see if they have suggestions. Online reviews and rankings can help you narrow down your choices.
Hospice is an expensive care option because of the amount of services that people use during this time. The California Department of Health Care Services estimates that routine care for up to 61 days in San Diego County costs about $217.81 per day and the national average is around $190.80 daily. Your costs could be higher or lower depending on what services you use and how long you need to use them.
While expenses are high in Chula Vista, there are a lot more opportunities for financial aid with hospice care. Medicare typically does not pay for long-term care at nursing homes or assisted living facilities, but they will cover 100% of most services for Part A beneficiaries. Members might only have to pay a small copay for both services and medication. California’s Medicaid system, Medi-Cal, also covers hospice care and TRICARE provides hospice for military members and their dependents. Private insurance companies also frequently offer hospice care.
If you can’t find coverage through any of these means, you still might be able to get hospice care. The provider might be able to work out a payment plan, operate on a sliding scale, or offer charitable care.
Chula Vista has some wonderful options for hospice care including Fredericka Convalescent Hospital, Villa Bonita Senior Living, and Pacific Pointe. Both St. Paul’s Plaza and Sunrise of Bonita have hospice care along with Alzheimer’s care, and they are both winners of SeniorAdvisor.com’s 2017 Best of Senior Living Award.
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