Reaching the end of life is a difficult and confusing time, especially if you don’t have the support that you need. Many families believe they can care for an elderly family member completely on their own, but what they fail to realize is that they will also struggle with knowing what to do when their loved one reaches their final weeks or months.
Hospice care can help both elderly seniors and their families with emotional and medical support. If you or a loved one is considering the need for hospice care, here are some things you will need to know.
A hospice care team can be available regardless of whether you are looking to spend your days at home or in a senior living facility. The number of people on your hospice care team will depend on the services you need and how many people from your community are helping you. Here are some of the possible members that you may want to include on your hospice care team:
Primary Doctor: Your primary doctor will be a crucial part of your hospice team. They will help to create a plan that manages your pain and maintains your comfort.
Hospice Doctor: A hospice doctor will work alongside your primary doctor to help create the hospice care plan.
Nurses & Home Health Aides: The nurses and home health aides will help the doctors follow through with the care plan while administering the day-to-day necessities to monitor health and manage discomfort.
Homemaking Aides: If necessary, homemaking aides can be available to help with household chores so that the family can spend extra time with their loved one.
Volunteers: Trained volunteers can help pick up the slack of the family or other care providers. Volunteers can run errands, provide respite care, or even emotional support.
Social Workers & Counselors: The use of social workers or counselors may be needed if it is the family’s first experience with hospice care. They can help the family understand what to expect, what will need to be done throughout the various stages of hospice, and provide emotional support.
Clergy: The clergy is also frequently included in a hospice care team to help the senior and the family stay close to their faith through this difficult time.
When selecting a hospice provider, you will want to consider the various needs of the senior. If they are of a strong faith, consulting members of the church can help point you in the right direction. For seniors who are veterans, hospice care may be offered through the VA.
Regardless of the path you choose for hospice service, you will want to consult the senior’s medical team. Doctors and nurses can help ensure that each need is met and all necessary services are provided.
Hospice care in Louisville is covered by most private health insurers as well as Medicare. If you are looking for inpatient hospice care, you will want to ensure that it is approved by Medicare or your insurance provider. For seniors that are veterans, the VA may also be able to provide financial support.
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