Hospice care helps patients that are coming to the end of their life deal with any pain that might occur as well as supports them and their family members through this trying time. This care is a combination of medical and emotional support and includes services like counseling for patients and family members, pain management, therapy, and any medical attention they might need. Hospice care can happen in a patient’s home, but it is also available in hospitals, nursing homes, and dementia care communities. Each patient will have a team of doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, social workers, and possibly clergy members assisting in their care.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice has looked at numerous studies that show hospice patients have a better quality of life and less depression than their non-hospice counterparts. Hospice can also help patients deal with their pain and possibly live longer more comfortably. The proper palliative care is crucial in helping hospice patients.
The first thing you should look for in any hospice provider is the proper credentials. The state of New Jersey requires all agencies to have a license to operate, and the Department of Health handles all licensing. Although it isn’t required, many agencies also seek accreditation through groups like the Community Health Accreditation Partner. CHAP is an independent review board created in 1965 that evaluates and accredits organizations throughout the country.
Once you have a list of places with the proper licenses, you should seek a provider that is kind, compassionate, and can provide a better quality of life. The agency should also be skilled at handling care schedules and coordinating services as well as offer a variety of services. You can talk with friends, neighbors, and colleagues to find suggestions or you can get a referral from your doctor. If you look at reviews online, this can also help you find the right agency.
Hospice care is not inexpensive, and you can expect to pay more for it than you would other long-term care options. In New Jersey, the average cost of in-home care is around $137 per day and care at a facility could be between $174 and $390 daily. Current national hospice costs are around $190.80 per day, and in New Jersey, that average will be higher.
There are more financial coverage options for hospice than other long-term care. Medicare doesn’t pay for assisted living or nursing homes, but they do cover 100% of many services and medications for Part A policyholders. All patients might have to pay for is a small copay. New Jersey Medicaid also covers hospice, and military members can use TRICARE for hospice services. If you have private insurance, check your policy because you might have hospice coverage.
Even if none of these apply to you, hospice agencies might be able to work with you on a payment plan or use a sliding scale rate. You could also be eligible for charitable care.
There are a few facilities in Jersey City that offer hospice care along with their other services. Cusack Care Center at St. Joseph’s and St. Ann’s Home for the Aged have hospice care, and Alaris Health at Jersey City has Alzheimer’s care and hospice services.
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