Getting hospice care is never an easy decision, but it is an important one. This type of care is for patients that are coming to the end of their life and who have less than six months to live. In hospice, you will get medical and emotional care, and your family will get the grief counseling and support they need during this time. A team of doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, and therapists will work with you and your family to provide care.
The National Association for Home Care and Hospice conducted a study to find out the benefits of hospice care. Hospice patients received better quality of care and experienced less pain because they got the appropriate palliative treatment. These patients also were less depressed and ended up living longer than patients who didn’t get any hospice care.
Just like with any care there are good and bad agencies, so it pays to do some research. All hospice providers in the state of Nebraska must be licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services. You can look for appropriately licensed providers through the DHHS website. CHAP or Community Health Accreditation Partner is another good source for quality providers.
Once you have found licensed and accredited agencies, look for hospice care that fits your needs and agencies who have a history of quality care. You want compassionate caregivers who can take care of all your needs as well as the needs of your family. Your doctor, friends, and family members should be able to help you with referrals or suggestions. If you want more input, online reviews can be helpful.
Most senior care costs are on the high side, and it’s no different with hospice care. In fact, this care tends to be a little higher because you need more people and services to care for your needs. Daily costs can vary given your location and based on your needs, but the average price is around $160.
You can get financial help from different programs and benefits. Even though Medicare doesn’t cover nursing homes or assisted living facilities, they do cover hospice costs for Part A policyholders. You will need to pay a small copay for medication and care. If you have private insurance, your policy most likely has hospice coverage, and if you have Medicaid, you can use those benefits for care. Veterans and their dependents can use TRICARE.
In some cases, none of these options might work but don’t give up hope. Talk with the hospice agency and see if they offer payment plans, a sliding scale rate, or charitable care.
You can find a few hospice agencies right here in Omaha in a variety of settings. Right at Home will give you hospice services in your home while nursing homes like Brighton Gardens of Omaha or assisted living facilities like Crown Pointe offer their residents hospice along with their other services. Most Alzheimer’s care facilities also have hospice care such as the House of Hope located in Omaha.
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