We hear it far too often: “I wish we had called hospice sooner.” Once people have experienced the level of care their loved one gets, as well as the education and support provided to family members, they understand how much having a hospice care team improves the whole family’s quality of life.
With help with patient hygiene needs; assistance from volunteers to provide companionship, respite, and help with other tasks; education on disease progression; and clinical support you can call anytime of the day or night; families can concentrate on what’s most important to them and their loved one. So why wait?
Many people wait for their doctor to tell them it’s time to contact hospice or wait for their doctor’s office to call for them. However, family and friends are far more likely to recognize a state of decline of a their loved one because they see them more often. Anyone can call a hospice provider directly and ask for information and/or a physical assessment to see if hospice care is appropriate. Let us be a resource for you.
You don’t have to wait, you can refer yourself, a family member, neighbor or friend.
Because families are often waiting for someone to tell them “it’s time,” they miss out on months of care and improved quality of life. The Medicare Hospice Benefit provides for several months of care and covers all care, medications, supplies and medical care related to the patient’s disease. It is available once the patient’s doctor determines that given the current rate of decline the patient has a life expectancy of six months or less.
Other benefits families experience include emotional and spiritual care; help in connecting with needed resources; education on the patient’s disease, how it progresses, and what they can do to make them comfortable; assistance from volunteers in planning a special celebration, fulfilling a bucket list wish, or just being a companion that takes time to talk or read them a book; and grief support before and after death.
Each person’s hospice experience is unique because an individualized plan of care is developed for every patient based on what is most important to them.
When choosing a hospice provider, there are things you should consider to enure you and your family receive the highest-level of care and support.
- Is the hospice Medicare certified?
- Has it been surveyed by a state of federal oversight agency in the last five years?
- Is it accredited by a national organization?
- Does the hospice conduct a family evaluation survey?
- Are clinical staff certified or credentialed in hospice and palliative care?
- What services do volunteers offer?
- Will the staff come to the home if there is a crisis at any time of the day or night, weekends, holidays?
- How long has the hospice been operating in the community?
Inpatient Hospice Care Centers Ensure a Complete Continuum of Care
Another aspect to consider is whether or not the hospice offers the availability of an inpatient hospice care center. In our region, the only hospice provider that offers inpatient care centers is Lower Cape Fear LifeCare. These care centers are available exclusively for their patients who require acute care.
To aid in your choice of a hospice provider, you can compare area agencies by visiting Medicare’s Hospice Compare website. This site lets you compare scores on key indicators. Scores are determined based on answers provided on a national survey by family caregivers.
Be informed. Know your options for care, and don’t wait to get the care you or a loved one needs. That way you’ll never have to say, “I wish I’d called hospice sooner.”
See Why We Are the Hospice of Choice for the Region
No other hospice provider in our region offers the level of care found in our hospice care centers. In addition, depending upon availability, our centers can provide families with respite care so caregivers can have a much-needed break. In addition, we are available 24/7 to help our patients and their families during a crisis or critical situation.
A patient can be referred to hospice care by anyone: their physician, a family member, or even by the patient themselves. For information to find out how to help someone you love get the care they need, please complete the referral form today.
Since 1980, Lower Cape Fear LifeCare (formerly Lower Cape Fear Hospice) has served patients and their families throughout southeastern North Carolina, serving patients where they live – in their homes, hospitals, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. For more information on how to start the conversation about hospice, please call