1. You must receive a doctor’s recommendation for hospice care.  Keep in mind, that sometimes if you feel it’s necessary, you might have to be proactive and ask for this recommendation.  End of life care is a sensitive subject for anyone involved, so don’t hesitate to ask the questions that matter.  The service you may receive is ultimately worth those uncomfortable conversations.
  2. Instincts can play a role.  If you have an instinctual feel that hospice care is needed, don’t wait on getting a second opinion.  Evaluations are free and it’s okay to seek a second opinion, even if you are persuaded not to. 
  3. Once recommended to hospice care, you will need to contact a hospice agency.  These agencies are the next step towards finding the right hospice care, and they will connect you with the appropriate facility.  It’s also okay to request specific hospice care from the agency, so have a list of questions prepared to ask your hospice agent.
  4. The agency will help you get in touch with the appropriate hospice facility, or in-home care system.  There is a common misconception with hospice care that it is the doctor’s responsibility to see these steps through, but it’s ultimately the patient and their support system that needs to be proactive in contacting the agency. 
  5. After the appropriate paperwork is completed, and COVID protocols are followed, the patient can begin their hospice care.  Many people think hospice care is restricted to a short time frame, but the truth is that sometimes hospice care can be administered for the span of several months.  This provides patients and families with the proper care and personal time for such precious moments.  It’s a comfortable setting, where families are surrounded by the things they love and the people who love them. 

For local hospice care, there are several options available.  One is Hospice House, a nonprofit organization that specializes in providing a patient their hospice stay in a local home, free of charge.  It’s a fully-furnished home where visitors are allowed as much time as they’d like with their loved ones.  This means a lot because sometimes end of life care at hospitals is very limited.

To reach Hospice House to learn more about their facility, or to understand your options and hospice care better, call them at (985)643-5470.

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