As the CDC is highly recommending celebrating the holidays with family members within the same household or virtually due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, hospice care is another way you can help protect your most vulnerable loved ones. If you or a loved one are living with a life-limiting illness and have received a life-expectancy diagnosis of six months or less, getting admitted for hospice care as soon as possible can keep you or your loved one safe and at home this holiday season.
Hospice care is focused on improving quality of life by managing pain and symptoms in the comfort of your own home or the place you call home. Care is provided by an interdisciplinary team that includes a doctor, nurse, hospice aide, social worker, and chaplain.
A recent NPR article states: “Seriously ill COVID-19 patients are starting to fill up hospital beds in record numbers, and health care workers are bracing for even more cases to come in the wake of skyrocketing coronavirus infections.”
Hospice care reduces the chance of hospitalizations and re-admissions.
This increase in hospitalizations has a direct effect on hospital capacity, meaning the availability of beds decreases and the strain on hospital health care workers goes up. This makes staying at home even more important this holiday season. Hospice care is proven to reduce hospital admissions and re-admissions. Also, if admitted, hospice care helps reduce the amount of time you or your loved one are in the hospital.
Hospice teams are well-versed in preventing the spread of infectious disease and keeping patients and loved ones as safe as possible. Team members regularly self-screen and Lower Cape Fear LifeCare monitors and evaluates the pandemic situation constantly to adjust procedures and policies as necessary to keep at-home patients safe, as well as those at our hospice care centers.
Hospice cares for the whole person: body, mind and spirit.
Hospice’s interdisciplinary care teams provide for spiritual and emotional care that may be critical to many who, due to health concerns for themselves or other family members, may not be able to celebrate in large gatherings as in past years. This extra layer of support can be beneficial to patients as well as family members and caregivers and meets their emotional and spiritual needs that may be greater at this time of year, especially during a pandemic.
Hospice care is a Medicare benefit. All care, supplies, medications and equipment related to a patient’s diagnosis are covered under this benefit. Most private insurances also provide a hospice benefit. However, Lower Fear LifeCare never refuses anyone care based on their ability to pay.
Studies show that hospice care can increase life-expectancy. However, it is important to note that early admission is the key to experiencing the greatest benefits of hospice care.