FAQ: Hospice Care - vnatexas.org

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FAQ: Hospice Care

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  • Click here to learn why VNA is the best hospice provider in Texas.

  • Yes. Your own physician can continue to oversee and direct the care.

  • Quality time with loved ones is always the ultimate goal of hospice. When continued medical treatment might provide a few more weeks or months of life, but could make the patient too ill to benefit from that time, consider the quality of that time to make the best decision for the patient.

    Patients can be eligible for hospice after a physician certifies they have a life expectancy that may be six months or less. If patients live beyond the six months, they can continue to receive hospice services as long as they show decline and their doctor continues to document their eligibility.

  • Now — before it is needed — is the best time to learn about hospice. Even if end-of-life care is hard to discuss, it’s wise for loved ones and family members to talk before there is an emergency. Decisions like this are best made when there is time to carefully consider all options, not when the need is immediate and emotions are running high. This can greatly reduce stress, emotion and anxiety when the time for hospice is at hand so the patient can enjoy the most quality time possible with friends and family.

  • Please contact VNA directly at hospice@vnatexas.org or call 1(800)CALL-VNA, or let your physician know that you request VNA as your hospice provider. You have the right, by law, to choose your hospice care giver and VNA will provide the quality of care that you know you can trust.

  • VNA Hospice Care involves a range of medical care and emotional support for terminally ill patients and their loved ones. Click here to learn why VNA is the best hospice provider in Texas.

  • Your VNA Hospice Care Team will order all the appropriate equipment, medical supplies, and medications to insure the patient's comfort in the home. At some stage this might include a hospital bed, oxygen, and other equipment.

  • If a patient’s health improves while receiving hospice services, or illness goes into remission, the patient’s doctor may stop hospice services. Any patient has the right to discontinue hospice for any reason, and return to hospice at any time, if eligible. If a patient stops hospice services, the type of Medicare coverage he or she had before choosing a hospice program resumes.

  • The Hospice Association of America has developed the Hospice Patient’s Bill of Rights, which is generally accepted by all hospices in the United States. As a patient, you or your loved one has a right to be notified in writing of your rights and obligations before hospice services begin. Consistent with state laws, the patient’s family or guardian may exercise the patient’s rights when the patient is unable to do so. Hospice providers have an obligation to protect and promote the rights of their patients, including their right to:

    • Financial Integrity
    • Dignity and Respect
    • Privacy
    • Quality Care
    • Decision-Making Authority
    • Knowing What Responsibilities Lie with Hospice and with the Patient/Caregiver
  • None of us like to think about dying, much less talk about how we envision the last days of our life. But often life intervenes and our first conversation about "end of life" is with a terminally ill parent, spouse or friend. Here are some tips for family and friends to help their loved one:

    Be there. Call and visit your mom, dad, relative or friend as often as possible. If you are unable to visit, stay in touch. Write notes about memories and the love you share.

    Be a good listener. Allow your loved one to talk about their terminal illness and impending death at their own pace. Don't force your own opinions, but be ready to discuss various options for end-of-life care.

    Educate yourself about the illness. Information is available through national associations, medical reference books and other readily available sources in your library or on the Internet. If appropriate, talk to the attending physician about the illness and its terminal stages.

    Be compassionate. Let your loved one express his or her feelings about their illness and condition without criticism. Don't say "I know exactly how you feel." You don't. Telling your friend "You've lived a good life" may hurt, not help. Tell them they are loved and that you are there for them.

    Offer practical help. If possible, straighten up the house or apartment, bring meals, and/or provide transportation – both for practicality and companionship. Show you care.

    Recognize your own limitations. If you're thinking "Why am I so uncomfortable with this?" you may be feeling that you can't cope with the situation. If so, try to understand your reluctance and deal with it honestly. Or maybe you wonder "What can I do to show love and compassion?" If you can't visit, then phone or write notes. Find other ways to help, perhaps by arranging for in-home assistance.

    Remember that you too will experience worry, fear, even anger. Loved ones and caregivers also experience anxiety, dread and denial upon learning that a family member or dear friend has a terminal illness. These feelings are normal and yet can be overwhelming. If you are the caregiver, you will need to learn to seek and accept help for your own physical and emotional strain.

  • Please contact VNA directly at hospice@vnatexas.org or call 1(800)CALL-VNA.

  • No, VNA does not store any client data on our website at vnatexas.org.