TThe mission of HoriSun Hospice is to deliver the highest level of holistic hospice care with honor and respect for our patients and their families. HoriSun Hospice is about living life to the fullest at the end of life. Our focus is on hope, quality and comfort to those facing a life-limiting illness.
What is Hospice?
Hospice is a philosophy of care dedicated to caring for individuals with life-limiting illness and their family. It is based on the holistic view of addressing pain and symptom control and emphasizes the quality of life. Hospice helps maintain the ability to make decisions that allow for as much ‘normalcy’ as possible throughout the dying process. It allows people to live the remaining time of their lives with as much comfort as possible. Hospice is a way to deal realistically and humanely with one of the great challenges of human life, and offers new perspectives on hope and help to patients and their families.
How does Hospice Work?
Referrals may come from physicians, nurses, family members or patients themselves.
Once an individual is on hospice services, a plan of care is implemented and centered on support garnered by an interdisciplinary team with the most important member being the patient, with the extent of team involvement being determined by the patient. The interdisciplinary team includes:
• A nurse visits intermittently to provide skilled assessment and act as a liaison to the primary physician
• A social worker to provide resource information and emotional support • A home health aide to assist with personal care
• A pastor to provide spiritual care if requested, and is also available as a liaison to the patient’s primary pastor
• A dietitian to assist with nutritional counseling
• A pharmacist to provide information concerning medications
• A homemaker to assist with light housekeeping tasks
• A volunteer coordinator to implement volunteer services including transportation, respite and child care
• Therapists who can assess and provide physical, occupational and speech therapy
• A program coordinator to provide follow-up to the family unit after the death of the patient
• Hospice often draws families together to care for a loved one. It can assist in enhancing a relationship or to assist in preparing families for the “final goodbye”
HoriSun Hospice also provides education to the community about end of life care.
How do I pay for hospice and what is covered?
Hospice is paid for through the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medicaid Hospice Benefit, and most private insurers. Eighty percent of people who use hospice care are over the age of 65, and are thus entitles to the services offered by the Medicare Hospice Benefit. This benefit covers virtually all aspects of hospice care with little out-of-pocket expense to the patient or family. As a result, the financial burdens usually associated with caring for a terminally ill patient are virtually nonexistent.
The Hospice Medicare Benefit pays 100% for:
• Medications related to the life-limiting illness
• Durable Medical Equipment (hospital beds, walkers, commodes, oxygen equipment, etc.) related to the life-limiting illness
• Visiting Nurse
• 24 hour on-call nurse and accessibility of interdisciplinary team members
• Home Health Aide for bathing
• Homemaker for light housekeeping
• Social Work
• Physical, Speech and Occupational Therapists
• Hospice Chaplain
• Dietitian for nutritional consultation
• Inpatient Respite – up to 5 days of inpatient care provided in an authorized HoriSun Hospice Inpatient facility
• Continuous Care – provided in the patient’s house on a 24- hour basis for the specific purpose of controlling acute medical symptoms. The goal of the care is to provide support to the patient/family in order to maintain the patient at home
• Inpatient care for symptom control related to the life-limiting illness. Symptoms are not controlled and need a highly skilled approach to regain a level of comfort for the patient. Inpatient care is provided in contracted facilities only
• The Hospice Medicare Benefit does not include a 24-hour caregiver
Where is Hospice Located?
Hospice is not a place like a hospital. Hospice provides care wherever the patient calls home, whether that is their own home, the home of a loved one, an assisted living facility, or nursing home. Hospice may also provide care in hospitals or prisons.
How do I know if a loved one or I qualify for hospice?
Hospice care is for any person with a life-threatening or terminal illness. Patients must have a prognosis of six months or less if the illness runs its normal course. Patients with both cancer and non-cancer illnesses are eligible to receive hospice care.All hospices consider the patient and family together as the unit of care.
Here are some identifying criteria for eligibility for hospice services: • Progressive decline in health
• Frequent hospitalizations in the past six months
• Repeat or multiple infections
• Increased or uncontrolled pain
• Progressive or profound weakness or fatigue • Shortness of breath
• Difficulty with swallowing
• Progressive weight loss
• Alterations in mental status
• Persistent nausea and vomiting
• Other uncontrolled symptoms
Anyone may call HoriSun Hospice at any time for an assessment to determine whether they are eligible to receive hospice services.