What is Hospice Care?
Hospice is a philosophy of care for people with a progressive, serious or life-limiting illness when a cure is no longer possible or the burden of the curative treatment is more than the benefit. Treatment goals are directed toward relief of symptoms with an overall objective of enhancing a person’s comfort, sense of dignity and well being. Hospice is end of life care, but at Oasis Hospice we concentrate on helping the patient live well with the time left. The interdisciplinary team of professionals at Oasis Hospice are trained to address physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of the patient and their family. We focus on what matters most to the patient and their family, to help them make every day the best day possible given the current circumstances. Our interdisciplinary team can help people clarify their goals, priorities, fears and worries so they can focus on living each day to the fullest. The focus is on caring, not curing.
How do you know it is time for Hospice?
1. When your healthcare provider believes your life expectancy is 6 months or less if the illness runs its usual course.
2. When you can no longer care for yourself and spend most of your time in bed or a chair.
3. When there is a significant decline in physical and/or cognitive function despite medical treatment.
4. When there is increased pain or other symptoms, substantial weight loss, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, and/or weakness.
5. When you have frequent Emergency Room or hospital visits with no lasting improvement in condition.
6. When your goal is comfort, dignity and quality of life rather than aggressive, but often non-beneficial treatments, that have been unsuccessful in curing or halting a progressive or life-threatening illness.
In-home hospice care is provided wherever the person calls home.
Hospice care is a philosophy of care that focuses on comfort, dignity, and quality of life in the person’s familiar environment – wherever they call home. This can be in their private home, nursing home, residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, memory care facilities, and in hospitals (under certain circumstances). Often, due to the added support provided by Oasis Hospice’s interdisciplinary team, a person is able to remain at home. Care is delivered by a team of professionals who address the patient’s needs on medical, physical, emotional and spiritual levels. The team consists of the attending physician, hospice nurses, home health aides, social workers, and spiritual counselors/chaplains. They routinely make scheduled visits to the patient’s location, but care is available 24/7 to meet the patient’s needs.
In-home hospice care gives patients a sense of dignity and control.
Hospice aims to restore meaning and dignity by managing pain and other bothersome symptoms with compassionate care tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. The interdisciplinary hospice team treats the person rather than the disease. Our patients and families deserve to be treated with respect and to be honored as unique individuals. The hospice team helps clarify what matters most to patients and families by helping them define and discuss their goals of care and priorities. Hospice puts the patient and family in control. They make the decisions with guidance from the interdisciplinary team.
Who pays for hospice care?
Hospice is paid for by Medicare, Medi-cal and most major insurance companies. All services, including visits by nurses, physicians, home health aides, equipment, medications and supplies related to the terminal illness are typically covered 100%. This will be explained carefully prior to signing up for hospice services.
Who is eligible for hospice care?
To be eligible for hospice care, a hospice physician and a second physician (often the patient’s primary care provider or specialist) must certify that the patient meets specific medical eligibility criteria indicating that an individual’s life expectancy is 6 months or less if the illness runs its usual course. The patient and family must also desire treatment that focuses on comfort rather than cure and no longer wish to receive aggressive care in a hospital setting. Common diagnoses of those who receive hospice care include, but are not limited to: cancer, heart disease, lung disease, stroke, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, end stage kidney disease, liver disease and neurological diseases. If you are not sure if you meet eligibility criteria, call Oasis Hospice for an information meeting.