Reaching the end of life can be a difficult and trying time for both the elderly individual and their families. After a battle with aging, disease, and illness, there comes a time that the individual and their medical team recognizes that there is little more they can do to fight. When that time comes, hospice care can help to reduce pain and maintain comfort during the senior’s last few weeks or months.
If you are considering hospice care in Pittsburgh, here are a few things you need to consider.
The needs of each person will depend on their specific situation and care level, but the role of hospice is to create a care plan that reduces pain and maintains quality of life as the senior reaches the end of their life. There are various individuals who work together to provide an adequate level of care and support, including the following individuals:
Primary Doctor: The primary doctor of the senior will look at the conditions, previous care, and what can still be done to assist the senior.
Hospice Doctor: A doctor who specializes in hospice care will work with the primary doctor to create a care plan.
Nurses and Home Health Aides: Nurses and home health aides will help to follow through on the plan created by the primary doctor and the hospice doctor.
Homemaking Aides: The goal of a homemaking aide is to relieve some of the personal care and homecare stress from the senior and their family. This includes cooking, cleaning, and feeding services.
Trained Volunteers: Volunteers fill in the gaps in places where the primary care team or family cannot, including running errands, sitting with the senior, or just providing someone for the family to talk to.
Social Workers and Counselors: Social workers and counselors are frequently used to help families and seniors understand how hospice works and what should be expected.
Clergy: Many individuals look to connect with their faith when they reach end of life, so consulting a clergy can help guide them down their desired path.
Before you begin your search for the right hospice care service, you will want to consider the individual needs of your situation. Consult with your primary care team on what is necessary for a hospice care provider and whether there are any personal recommendations from the senior, including if they would like a faith-based service.
If the individual is a veteran, they may be able to receive VA-sponsored hospice services. For those who are not veterans, there are still a number of hospice care providers available in the Pittsburgh area. Those organizations can be located on SeniorAdvisor.com.
Most hospice care services are covered by Medicare or private health insurance plans. If your insurance does not qualify you for hospice care, many providers have programs available for seniors with limited resources.
Be sure to discuss all the details of your insurance, budget, and the care that you need before selecting a hospice care service.
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