Most individuals are able to receive hospice care benefits as soon as they are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. Many don’t know that hospice benefits are available for six months (sometimes longer, depending on the nursing assessment) rather than just the last few days of someone’s life. Anyone can refer a loved one to hospice care.
Hospice care is compassionate care designed to help the individual and family during the last months of life. An early hospice admission allows both client and family to receive the full benefit of hospice services, giving them the opportunity to prepare for the changes ahead. It also allows those receiving hospice care time to build relationships with their caregivers, and actively participate in decisions about their care.
In addition to addressing the physical needs of the client, hospice provides spiritual and emotional care to both the individual and their entire family, and allows people to spend their final days in dignity and comfort. Care can be provided in the home or nursing facility, or at the Hanson Hospice Center.
The benefits of choosing hospice earlier in the illness progression also include:
- Symptom management (for pain, shortness of breath,
anxiety, etc.) resulting in less discomfort and fewer
unnecessary emergency hospitalizations
- Earlier intervention may decrease stress levels,
and have a positive impact on the quality of life
- Help with focusing on developing personal goals
- Preparation and coordination of an advance care plan
(ACP) and advanced directive (AD)
- Full emotional, psychological, and spiritual support
Individual and Family Benefits
- Controlling an overwhelming situation
- Achieving peace with the impending death
- Providing an opportunity for closure and to cherish time
with friends and family
- Receiving knowledgeable assistance and time to prepare
for funeral and financial matters
- Saving on expenses of medication, medical equipment,
and supplies related to the life-limiting illness
- Positive emotions about the opportunity to improve the
quality of life of the loved one
- Participating in the care of the loved one; providing
dignified care and feeling good about the contribution to
the loved one’s final months, weeks, days
- Developing a trusting relationship with the hospice
- Ability to be with the loved one in a more comfortable
state during a difficult time
Accepting hospice benefits earlier will allow individuals and families to improve their overall care for mind, body, and spirit.
For more information or to refer a loved one, please contact Caring Circle at (269) 429-7100 or visit www.caring-circle.org/referral