hospice care versus palliative care

How To Choose A Hospice Agency

Choosing a hospice agency is undoubtedly a very important task. Any agency chosen will be saddled with the responsibility to give you or your loved one the most comfortable end-of-life care possible.

Most hospice agencies offer similar services based on the Medicare guidelines. However, subtle differences exist between them, and these details might be of immense significance to you or your loved ones.

Here are some salient points to consider in choosing a hospice agency:

  • RECOMMENDATIONS

It is not uncommon that your physician would have some recommendations for the hospice agency they would like to refer you to. Ask them about their experiences with the recommended agency and why they think it will be suitable for you. You can seek out a credible geriatric resource person or a social worker for their opinion on a good hospice care agency to patronize.

  • CERTIFICATION AND ACCREDITATION
Be sure the hospice agency is Medicare certified. This is important because it shows their services are based on the federal health care regulations and are covered by insurance. You should also find out if they are accredited by the appropriate body as this indicates their performance is being regulated and assessed.
 
  • TYPE AND QUALITY OF SERVICE

Assess the quality of service by asking about the members of their team. Are the health care workers specifically trained in palliative care? What is the extent of their services? How many visits are their clients entitled to? What is the modality of their hospice care; home-based, in- patient based, or both? How do they objectively assess their performance? The answers to these questions will inform your decision-making process.

  • CARE PLAN

A hospice agency is only as good as its care plan. An agency that offers an individualized care plan is preferable to one that does not so be sure to take this under consideration. The closeness of the designated health worker to your place of residence and their willingness to alter their care plan to suit your specifications closely must be considered before a final decision is made.

  • CRISIS RESPONSE

It is essential that you find out about the rapidity of their response to a crisis. Ask about their readiness and preparedness to respond to emergencies on weekdays, weekends, and outside regular business hours.

  • PLACE OF RELATIVES

You should find out what the hospice agency expects from the client’s family members as regards their contribution to their care. It is important to know how much freedom and involvement is permitted for relatives by the hospice agencies you have in mind. Also, it is important to note hospice care is for the relatives as much as it is for the terminally ill. A comprehensive hospice care program must include counseling and bereavement support for family members.

  • REPORTS AND REVIEWS

Put on your investigative lens and find out if there has been any violation of the law on their part or any complaints of such about the agency. Also, the reviews written about their services by previous clients should be used in arriving at the best decision.

Because this is a sensitive decision, taking the time to consider all your options is advisable. However, by using these seven criteria listed above, we have no doubt you will choose rightly. 

It should interest you to know that Hillside Hospice Care excels in every one of the criteria listed above. We have excellent reviews from clients and fully involve family members in this critical period of end-of- life care. We are also fully certified to provide these services by MediCare; therefore, insurance coverage is a guarantee. You need only ask to be fully informed about our care plan and how it is customized for each patient. Consult to benefit from our great hospice care delivery.

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