End-of-life care, referred to as hospice care, is available to patients, family members, and caregivers dealing with a terminal disease or illness. The hospice team will work closely with specialists, doctors, nurses, counselors, social workers, home health aides, clergy, and volunteers to provide the family and patient with a comfortable quality of life during the last six to twelve months.
The hospice staff provides bereavement support and counseling to the family and respite care for caregivers. If your loved one suffers from one of the following conditions and has a prognosis of less than one year, they may qualify for end-of-life care: cancer, stroke, kidney or liver disease, complications from AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, end stage dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and congestive heart failure.
When the patient’s pain and symptoms are managed, they can spend these months with their loved ones in a comfortable setting, either at home, at an assisted living community, or skilled nursing facility. With hospice, you do not necessarily have to stop your treatments depending on what your physician advises such as radiation therapy or physical therapy.
Hospice providers in Arizona must meet licensure requirements and follow the state’s regulations. Hospice providers do not need to carry a Hospice Certificate of Need, according to the Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP). Agencies that accept both Medicaid and Medicare must follow stricter regulations.
You can use the database on the CHAP website to locate accredited providers in the area like American Home Patient, Grace Hospice of Arizona, LINCARE, St. Elizabeth Home Health, StateServ Medical, and BAYADA Home Health Care.
End-of-life care costs vary as it depends on the type of care needed, the length of time, and the services of the multidisciplinary team. You will need to check with your private insurance company to see if they cover hospice care. TRICARE, the insurance benefit for veterans and military families, covers hospice care.
Arizona Medicaid covers hospice care through the Arizona Long-Term Care (ALTCS) Program. If you are receiving ALTCS, you can qualify for other services during this time including home delivered meals. Medicare Part A covers hospice, but not room and board at an assisted living community or skilled nursing home.
You can find listings for hospice agencies online and through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. A few agencies in Tempe include Arizona Hospice and Palliative Care, Friendship Village, Sage Hospice and Palliative Care, and East Valley Hospice.
There are several skilled nursing facilities and assisted living communities that offer hospice services, such as SeniorAdvisor’s 2016 Best of Assisted Living Winner Westchester Senior Living, as well as Elmcroft of Tempe, Bella Vista, Brookdale Tempe, Summerhaven ALF, and Blessings of Joy Adult Care Home.
You can read online reviews on senior care directory websites before interviewing a prospective company. Many of these reviews and ratings are from family members of clients that required hospice care.
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