What Is Hospice Care at Home?

Jul 24, 2023Blog

A health care aide reading to an elderly man on a couch in his homeHospice care is a type of health care that patients with terminally ill conditions rely on toward the end of their lives. This type of care focuses on pain management as well as emotional, spiritual and familial support. It can be provided in a variety of settings including hospice care at home and in special facilities devoted to end-of-life care, such as the Massachusetts.

Who Can Benefit from this Type of Care?

Patients with serious illnesses like cancer, heart disease, dementia, kidney failure or other fatal conditions benefit from hospice care. It helps patients live a more comfortable and dignified end-of-life and helps families prepare for the loss of their loved one.

Services may include:

  • Skilled nursing care
  • Pain and symptom management
  • Medical supplies and equipment
  • Spiritual care
  • Massage therapy
  • Personal care
  • Medical social work
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Bereavement support

When Is Hospice Recommended?

Hospice care should not only be considered for people at the end of their lives. While most of these services are generally reserved for people with six months or less to live, early hospice care can be beneficial for patients and their families as well.

You may wish to consider such services if your loved one:

  • Has a serious decline in their physical well-being
  • Is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
  • Decides to forgo any treatment to change their condition

Who Makes Up a Hospice Care Team?

Depending on your needs, your hospice team may consist of doctors, nurses, social workers, hospice aides, spiritual advisors and trained volunteers.

Who Pays for Hospice Home Care?

Like any other health care option, hospice services can quickly become very expensive. Fortunately, there are several ways to cover the cost.

Government Programs

  • If you qualify for government assistance, ask about insurance plans specifically designed to cover the cost of hospice care.
  • Seniors enrolled in Medicare Part A may qualify for a Medicare hospice care benefit.
  • For terminally ill patients on Medicaid, hospice care may be covered, depending on your state of residence.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs may also provide coverage for people who served in the United States Armed Forces.

Private Insurance

Check the terms of your insurance policy to determine if your health insurance covers hospice care. Your policy may cover all or part of the cost.

Options for Uninsured Patients

Even if you don’t have health insurance, you may still have coverage options. There are charitable organizations that work with elderly and disabled individuals who need help paying for hospice care services. In addition, hospice organizations also often have internal departments that work with patients who qualify for this type of care but are indigent or do not have health insurance.

Is Hospice Care at Home Right For You?

Choosing whether to receive hospice care at home is an important part of your end-of-life care plan. Gather as much information as you can about your options, including the available services and costs, when making your decision. For example, consult Medicare’s hospice compare website or CaringInfo.org for help finding hospice services near you.

Our compassionate elder law attorneys have a depth of experience counseling and representing elders and younger individuals with disabling illnesses and their families. Please reach out to see how we may be able to help you.