Facing the end of your life or the life of a loved one is a stressful experience, but hospice care might be able to ease the burdens of this time. Hospice care combines both medical and emotional care to make sure the patient is ready for what is next. Hospice also helps prepare the family with counseling and grief services. You can get hospice care wherever you are whether that’s your home, a hospital, or a facility like a nursing home. You will also work with a group of people like doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, and counselors to cover all aspects of your care.
Hospice is an advantage to patients that have life-ending illnesses or won’t live past six months. A study done by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice found that patients with hospice were less depressed and got a better quality of care than patients that didn’t have hospice. Because of proper palliative treatments, these patients also lived longer than non-hospice patients.
In the state of Texas, all hospice care agencies must be licensed by the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) to provide services. Do not choose a provider that doesn’t have the appropriate credentials. You can also find accredited facilities through the Community Health Accreditation Partner or CHAP program. This independent review board has been in effect since 1965 and lists approved agencies online.
A lot of things will be going on during this stressful time, so an agency that is known for quality and compassionate care that can coordinate all care schedules is a must. You can ask for referrals from your doctor or other health care providers as well as talk to relatives and friends that might have used these services before. You should also read online reviews to get a feel for each provider before you make your final decision.
Hospice care is going to be more expensive than other types of care because you’re working with more people and you get more services during this time. Texas DADS estimated that the Austin area daily average cost for hospice is $156 and El Paso will be right along those lines.
The good news is that unlike other types of long-term care, there are more programs to help you cover the costs. Medicare doesn’t usually cover nursing homes or in-home care, but it will cover 100% of most care costs for Part A policyholders. There will be a small copay for medication and care. Medicaid is another option for low-income seniors and TRICARE will take care of hospice for veterans and their dependents. Private insurance also usually covers hospice services.
Some facilities are willing to work with people that don’t have any other payment options. They might work on a sliding scale rate or create a payment plan that you can handle. Charitable care might also be available, but you should ask first.
You can find hospice care in many different locations in El Paso. Nursing homes like The Montevista at Coronado and assisted living facilities like Sunridge at Palisades and Royal Estates of El Paso offer hospice care. Alzheimer’s care centers such as Sunridge at Desert Springs also has hospice.
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