Hospice care provides both medical and emotional support to patients that are facing terminal illness or the end of their life. Hospice provides an array of services to not only patients but their family members as well during this challenging time. Care services could include pain management, various therapies, medical treatment, counseling for family members, support groups, and many more helpful resources. A care team will care for any needs, and these members will be a combination of doctors, nurses, certified nursing assistants, therapists, counselors, social workers, and even members of the clergy.
Hospice is a beneficial service to everyone involved and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice cites studies that prove hospice patients enjoy a better quality of life when compared to non-hospice patients. Hospice patients also experience less pain and often live longer because they have proper palliative care.
One of the first things you should look for when searching for hospice care is the proper credentials. In North Carolina, all hospice agencies are required to have both a license and certification. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Regulation handles this process. Many facilities in North Carolina are also Medicare and Medicaid certified as well as accredited by the Community Health Accreditation Partner or CHAP, an independent accreditation board.
Beyond licensing and certification, the hospice care you choose should be compassionate and improve your quality of life. They should have a reputation for providing a variety of services as well as be adept at coordinating your care schedule. Talk with your family members and friends and see if they have suggestions or get a referral from your health care provider. Online reviews and ratings can also help you narrow down your choices.
All long-term care options tend to be expensive, and hospice care is no different. In fact, it might be more expensive because there are more services used during this time. Genworth estimates that in-home costs for the Greensboro area are around $113 per day and facility care costs are between $95 and $245 depending on what you choose. Hospice costs could be even more than those daily costs.
Hospice care, though, is often covered by more programs which make it easier for people to afford the services. Medicare doesn’t cover things like nursing homes or assisted living, but they will cover 100% of most services for Part A policyholders. Medication is also included, and beneficiaries might only have to pay a small copay for services and medication. Medicaid in North Carolina also covers hospice, but if you use it, you might not be eligible for some other services. Military members and dependents can use TRICARE, and if you have private insurance, hospice is usually covered.
If you can’t use any of these options, some agencies might be able to create a payment plan or fit your budget with a sliding scale rate. You can also see if charitable care is available.
There are many hospice providers in the Greensboro area, and many combine different senior care services. Britthaven of Greensboro and Guilford Health Care Center offer hospice care along with full-time skilled nursing services. Carriage House Senior Living Community cares for Alzheimer’s patients as well as offers hospice care and Brighton Gardens of Greensboro, 2017 Best of Senior Living Award winner, does the same.
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