- My mother was recently diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. What services are available for her at home?
If you mother is under Medicare, she is entitled to the Medicare hospice benefit. She can receive skilled nursing care, personal assistance, social worker, volunteers and pastoral care services. The Medicare benefit will also cover medications and equipment related to her diagnosis. Many insurance companies provide the same coverage of services.
- My father was recently told his colon cancer has metastasized and he should consider hospice services. He currently has intermittent nursing care at home. What would be the difference if he switches to hospice?
There would be many similar services plus additional benefits. He would continue to receive intermittent nursing care, and as his condition changes he would be able to receive personal care, pain control, medical equipment such as a hospital bed, and volunteers. He would also be eligible for inpatient respite and pain control services at our contracted nursing facility.
- My aunt has Alzheimer's disease. She has deteriorated recently and is losing weight rapidly. Would she be eligible for hospice?
Yes, as long as a physician will certify that she is within the final 6 months of her life. She would be eligible for the Medicare hospice benefit under failure to thrive diagnosis.
- I lost my mother to heart failure a few years ago. She had hospice volunteers to help our family through the grief process. I am interested in becoming a volunteer. What are the requirements?
The only requirement is that you attend a hospice training program. Each hospice has their own program that consists of various components such as communication, the stages of death and dying, offering support to clients, and the bereavement process. After completion of the program you will be well equipped to assist other clients and families through the death and dying process, which is a much appreciated and rewarding experience.