Hospice care is a combination of medical attention and emotional support for patients nearing the end of their life and their family members. These services can include things like counseling for family members, respite care for caregivers, pain management, therapy, and any other supportive services needed during this time. Many patients want to stay at home when they get hospice care but hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living centers also offer hospice care. Each patient will have their own team of doctors, nurses, social workers, nursing assistants, therapists, and others to help them with their needs.
Hospice has proven to have numerous benefits for patients, and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice looked at studies that found these patients had less depression and had a better quality of life. Hospice patients also tend to experience less pain because they get the proper palliative care and in turn live longer than non-hospice patients.
You want to choose the best provider for your hospice care, and there are a few things to look for when you start your search. The state of Texas requires all hospice providers to have a license which the Department of Health and Human Services handles. If necessary, you can also find agencies approved by Medicaid and Medicare. It isn’t required, but the Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP) also offers additional accreditation for some providers.
After licensing, you need to find an agency that will meet your needs. They should have a history of quality care and compassionate service. They should tailor the services they offer to your needs, and they should handle the coordination of all your care and services. Word of mouth is a wonderful way to find agencies in your area, so talk to trusted friends and neighbors or get a referral from your doctor. You can also go online and find rankings and reviews to help your search.
Long-term care is usually an expensive service and hospice tends to be even more costly because of the amount of services and people caring for you. For example, Genworth estimates in-home care costs are around $107 per day while facility care is $107 to $220 daily. Medicare estimates daily hospice costs for the nation are around $190.80 and in Lubbock County, they are $528.41 per capita.
The good news is you can find more programs to cover your costs than for other services. Medicare doesn’t pay for nursing homes or assisted living communities, but they will pay for hospice services. Part A policyholders might pay a small copay but most care and medication will be 100% covered. Medicaid in Texas also pays for hospice and TRICARE takes care of hospice for military members. Private insurance usually covers hospice as well, so check your policy.
Not everyone will be able to use these options and if you still can’t afford hospice, talk to the agency about creating a payment plan or using a sliding scale rate. You might also be eligible for charitable care.
You can find hospice care in a variety of settings in Lubbock. Accolade Hospice provides both in-home care and hospice care in nursing homes in the area. Lubbock Hospitality House and Bender Terrace are both nursing homes that offer hospice as a part of their services. Alzheimer’s communities like Brookdale Monterey, frequently provide hospice care. Raider Ranch is another Alzheimer community with hospice care, and they also won 2017 Best of Senior Living Award from SeniorAdvisor.com.
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