- When should we call?
Now. If your loved one is living with a chronic illness, our staff can suggest the best program for your needs. By making your wishes known ahead of time, the stress of making the decision to contact AIM or Hospice can be greatly reduced.
- Who qualifies for Hospice?
Anyone with a life-limiting or chronic illness can qualify for hospice. Common illnesses include, but are not limited to; cancer, dementia, heart disease, stroke, lung disease and kidney disease. In most cases, patients have a life-expectancy of six months or less, but can qualify for longer periods of care with certification by our Medical Director.
- How does Hospice care start?
A patient can be referred by their primary care provider, hospital, nursing facility or by calling and asking about our services. A physician must certify the patient is eligible for hospice care. Our admissions team typically visits the patient within 24-48 hours or even sooner.
- Who will provide care?
A registered nurse assesses the patient’s condition, and engages the patient and family in decision-making to develop a plan of care around the needs and wishes of the patient. Social workers address the psychosocial and emotional needs of the family unit and provide case management to link families with additional programs and services that help improve quality of life and alleviate the stress caused by providing care. Nurses continue to assess the patient’s condition through regular visits and direct care staff assist with bathing, personal grooming and other needs. The Chaplin is available to provide spiritual care and support. The patient and family may also request volunteers who can assist the patient and caregiver when needed.
All visits, care and services are provided at the direction of the patient and family and can be adapted as needs change. Hospice is dedicated to providing exceptional care in a manner sensitive to the needs, wishes and beliefs of all involved. Hospice is here to help, whatever the need may be.
- Who pays for hospice care?
Hospice care is an insurance benefit covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurances. Medical equipment and medications related to the patient’s diagnosis are covered by Hospice.
Our staff bills insurance companies directly making one less thing for patients and families to worry about. The generous support of community members helps bridge the gap between care provided and what is reimbursed by insurance. Patients, families and community members are never refused services due to lack of insurance or inability to pay.
- Doesn’t choosing Hospice mean giving up on life?
Actually the focus simply changes. Statistics show patients actually live longer when referred to hospice earlier. So it is not giving up, it is choosing to focus on quality of life rather than cure.
While it is true to qualify for Hospice, you must have a terminal diagnosis, the patient has chosen to focus on comfort and quality of life. By managing pain and symptoms patients and families are given time to be together to continue enjoying every day activities and even special occasions. Hospice doesn’t mean giving up, it’s means taking control of your life.
Some examples of experiences our staff have helped families to enjoy include a father attending his sons high school graduation, a trip to the casino, trout fishing in the spring and taking a beloved Corvette for one last ride. At this stage of life- these are the things that matter.
- Do people on Hospice die quicker?
Hospice does not hasten or prolong death. Staff provide specialized care and knowledge during the dying process. Studies show patients are more comfortable under hospice care and enjoy a better quality of life. On average, hospice patients live an average of 29 days longer than those with the same illness not receiving this care.