If you are taking care of a sick or aging family member and their doctor has mentioned hospice care in Las Vegas as a possible option, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought. It’s natural to have questions and even reservations about it, but rest assured you’re not alone. So, does hospice mean the end? It’s easy to get that impression, but hospice is much more than that. Below we discuss what hospice is and is not so you can make an informed and caring decision for your beloved family member.
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Does Hospice Mean You’re Going to Die?
The short answer to this question is no. In order to qualify for hospice care, your loved one must have received a prognosis of life expectancy of six months or less from their doctor. This doesn’t mean they are going to die in that time. It just means the doctor feels they could possibly pass away within six months. What many people fail to realize about hospice, however, is that entering hospice is not about dying. Rather, it’s about living, and living as well as possible, for as long as you have left.
How Long Does Hospice Stay with a Patient?
In short, hospice stays with a patient as long as the doctor certifies he or she may pass within the next six months. Medicare and most private insurances will continue to cover hospice care as long as the patient meets this requirement. If your family member lives past the six month mark but the doctor re-certifies him or her as terminal, insurance should continue coverage with no issue.
It’s important to mention here that sometimes hospice patients enter and leave hospice care as their health improves or declines. If a patient no longer meets the eligibility requirements for hospice, Medicare and other private insurances usually discontinue coverage. Having said that, should a patient meet eligibility requirements again in the future, insurance coverage typically resumes once again.
Hospice Means Quality of Life, Not Quantity
When most people hear the word hospice, they automatically think it’s the end. On the contrary, hospice actually focuses on creating a better quality of life for your loved one and for you. Hospice isn’t just for the patient. It can help your entire family get through a most difficult time.
For the patient, hospice focuses on pain and symptom management. Emotional and spiritual support are also a part of hospice care to help everyone deal with the situation. Whether your loved one lives one month or one year or more, hospice does its part to ensure he or she is as comfortable as possible for the best quality of life possible.
The thought of someone you love entering hospice is a scary notion, but hospice doesn’t mean “the end.” Instead, it means you care enough to want him or her to have the best quality of life possible. It means you understand the doctor’s recommendations and are ready to accept the support and comfort hospice can offer for both you and your loved one.