Does Hospice Provide Care for Terminal Lung Cancer?

For those living with a terminal diagnosis, such as terminal lung cancer, hospice care provides pain and symptom management, emotional and spiritual support, and education and support for loved ones. The goal of care is improving quality of life for the entire family.

Don’t Wait Too Long For Hospice Care For Terminal Lung Cancer

Many people miss out on all the benefits of hospice care because they wait too late to access care. It’s important to be informed of all your options when living with a terminal illness so you can decide what is  best for you and your loved ones.

Lower Cape Fear LifeCare has been providing care to people living with terminal lung cancer for more than forty years. In fact, LCFL cares for a higher percentage of cancer patients compared to other providers in its service area. Their expertise in pain and symptom management for cancer patients helps them live with their illness comfortably so time can be better spent with loved ones and friends.

When Should Hospice Care Start?

For people with terminal lung cancer, care should begin when curative treatment is no longer available, when the risks of treatments outweigh the benefits of hospice care, or when the patient decides that treatment is no longer desired. The Medicare Hospice Benefit stipulates that life expectancy should be estimated at six months or less to receive hospice care.

Many people wait far too long before seeking hospice care, receiving only a few weeks or just days of care. This denies both the patient and their loved ones from receiving the most benefits that this type of care offers. The Medicare Hospice benefit, as well as Medicaid and most private insurances, cover months of hospice care. 

You don’t have to wait for your doctor to suggest hospice care; anyone can make a referral for care.

What are the benefits of hospice care?

Hospice care puts you in charge. Your care team will discuss what’s most important to you at this time in your life and devise an individualized plan of care to help you meet your goals. They will schedule their visits, so you know who, when, and what to expect as care continues.

In addition to pain and symptom management, hospice care’s philosophy of a “whole body” approach provides emotional and spiritual care and support. It also provides support and education for loved ones. To accomplish all of this, patients receive an interdisciplinary team of professionals from different disciplines who together provide care and support for the patient and their family.

Studies show that hospice patients live longer than those who do not receive hospice care.

The hospice care team consists of:

  • Physician – oversees treatment
  • Registered Nurse – visits on a regular basis, collects information about how the patient is doing and if goals of care are being met, and provides education to loved ones 
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA or Hospice Aide) – helps with personal hygiene such as bathing; dressing; oral, hair and skin care; changing linens; ensures patients are comfortable; spends time listening to patient and family concerns; possibly does a little light housekeeping; and listens and visits with the patient during scheduled visits.
  • Social Worker – helps by finding resources, navigates veterans and other benefits, and provides emotional support for the patient and their loved ones
  • Chaplain – provides spiritual care while respecting and honoring the patient’s own faith beliefs
  • Volunteer – provides companionship, respite and helps with other tasks such as running errands

Where Do I Get Hospice Care?

Hospice care is provided wherever the patient calls home. This can be in their own home, that of a family member or friend, in an assisted living or nursing home, or even in a hospital.

We’re only a phone call away – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, nights, weekends, and holidays.

If pain and symptoms cannot be managed in a residential setting, Lower Cape Fear LifeCare operates three inpatient hospice care centers. These serene, home-like facilities are available exclusively to our patients. Lower Cape Fear LifeCare is the only hospice provider in southeastern NC to offer care centers for its patients and families.

Don’t Wait. Get the care and support you need and deserve while living with terminal lung cancer.

We’re here to answer your questions, schedule an assessment, and coordinate with your doctor to start controlling your pain and symptoms to improve quality of life. Give us a call at 800.733.1476.