When a person with a life-limiting illness no longer benefits from curative treatment and has a life expectancy of six months or less, hospice is available.
The hospice philosophy of care focuses on dignity and quality of life.The hospice team is available to provide relief for physical symptoms as well as care and support for emotional and spiritual issues.
Hospice does not hasten or delay death, but instead empowers and educates patients, their family and loved ones so that they create memorable moments during the time they have together. Hospice services can improve quality of life for as long as life remains. Taking advantage of services early maximizes the benefits of hospice. The best way to learn about everything hospice has to offer is to have a conversation with a trained hospice professional that can assist you in exploring all options available. Please call 785-632-2225 to begin the discussion on how hospice can benefit you or your loved one.
The hospice benefit is available to anyone with a life expectancy of six months or less if the terminal illness or disease runs its normal course. There are many situations when hospice is appropriate.
The following are signs that you or your loved one may be ready for hospice:
- Your doctor has told you that you have a terminal illness.
- You have discussed not continuing curative treatments for your illness.
- You’ve had great difficulty in recovering from a recent illness.
- You need more help with bathing, dressing, getting out of bed, walking or eating.
- You’ve had frequent visits to the hospital or emergency room in the past six months.
- You often feel weak and are frequently tired.
- You are taking medication to lessen physical pain.
- You’ve experienced significant weight loss.
Hospice services can improve quality of life for as long as life remains.
Coverage for hospice care is provided by Medicare, Medicaid, and some private insurance companies. Meadowlark Hospice will work with your insurance company to determine the estimated cost and reimbursement for your services. The Medicare and Medicaid Hospice benefit will pay for home visits, medications, supplies, and equipment related to caring for the terminal diagnosis. Your care team will explain the specific coverage you have for hospice care.
Helpful Information When Considering Hospice
Your Doctor: As a Hospice patient, your regular doctor will remain involved in your care. All of the Hospice Team orders come from your doctor, including all medications and treatments. The Hospice Team regularly reports to your doctor on how you are doing and what your needs are. In the event that your attending physician is unavailable, the hospice medical director is available to provide orders as needed.
Your Medications: As a Hospice patient, the medications you are taking will be reviewed with you by the hospice team. The goal of hospice care is to control symptoms and provide quality of life when facing a terminal illness. Some medications may be changed or discontinued to promote quality of life and maintain symptom control. Hospice will pay for only those medications that are directly related to your terminal illness, related diagnoses, and comfort. The medications Hospice pays for will be from the pharmacy in your area that Hospice contracts with. The rest of your medications may be purchased from the pharmacy of your choice.
Your Activities: As a Hospice patient, you can be as active as you feel able and go places as you wish. There are no restrictions on activity. You do not have to be homebound. You can continue to work, exercise, travel, go to school, etc.
Labs/X-rays/other tests: As a Hospice patient, the focus of your care is on comfort rather than cure. Labs and other tests are only utilized when needed to control pain or other symptoms or to monitor some medications. Your insurance may not cover these tests if you are on Hospice. Please discuss any questions you might have about specific tests with a Hospice Nurse to determine if it is paid for by Hospice or by your insurance.
Hospice Charges: Medicare and Medicaid and many private insurances pay for Hospice. No one is denied Hospice care due to insurance coverage or inability to pay.
Hospice Care is Provided: In your home, nursing home, or assisted living facility.
- Visits by professionally trained nurses, social workers, chaplain, home health aides, and other professionals as needed and as desired by the patient and/or caregivers. The nurses are on call 24 hours a day for after hours questions or needs.
- Trained volunteers to give breaks to the caregiver for short periods, run errands, and many other things. Volunteers are NOT allowed to provide hands-on care.
- Hospice pays for medications and medical equipment and supplies related to the terminal prognosis. Meadowlark Hospice provides Bereavement Care to the family or caregivers for 12 months.
The Hospice Team, with direction from your doctor, and the Hospice Medical Director, focuses on managing pain and other symptoms, and offering psychosocial and spiritual support to you and your family to help you live as comfortably as possible. Hospice cares for people of all ages and all diseases.