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HomeHealthThe Rise of Hospice Care in America

The Rise of Hospice Care in America

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Extraordinary Healthcare Providers Offer a New Era in End-of-Life Care

The hospice movement in America is not as old as it may seem. In the 1960s, the idea of providing specific care for the dying was no more than a discussion among academics. Today, however, those in need of end-of-life care can access exceptional services that are tailored to their specific needs.

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Home hospice care – particularly when it is delivered by an outstanding home care and hospice agency – provides families with an option that allows their loved one to live out the end of their life with dignity and comfort.

Advancements in the Hospice Movement

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization maps the history of the hospice movement, which begins in the United States with the founding of early hospice care facilities in the 1970s.

From there, advancements in medical technology and important political advocacy – including legislation that provided permanent, 100% coverage for end-of-life care through Medicare and Medicaid – made hospice a more viable option for patients.

Thanks to the evolution of this form of care, what patients experience today is a far cry from the services of 50 years ago. Today, hospice is a deeply informed, compassionate option that epitomizes how comprehensive medical care can be.

Hospice facilities are, of course, still prevalent and useful, but hospice care can also be delivered at home. Home services provide a familiar and comfortable environment for someone facing a terminal illness.

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Hospice Today

Today’s hospice care includes powerful benefits and services for those at the end of their life. These benefits also extend to family members, as they are an indispensable part of the experience of a loved one’s end-of-life experience.

A patient can choose to receive care in their own home, which provides a level of comfort and dignity that facilities can’t always offer. Patients can receive exceptional medical care without experiencing the stresses commonly associated with hospitals and emergency rooms. Families also typically prefer a home setting, allowing them to visit and care for their loved one in private.

High-quality hospice care at home will also likely include the following:

  • Collaboration between hospice physicians and the patient’s primary care physician.
  • Comprehensive on-call nursing, including 24/7 availability.
  • Personal care visits from hospice aides.
  • Medical social worker visits for end-of-life resources, emotional support for patients and family, and more.
  • Respite care when family caregivers need a break.
  • Chaplain visits for spiritual or religious support.
  • Terminal-illness-related medications, medical supplies, and equipment.
  • Bereavement services to support family members after the loved one’s passing.
  • Special services as requested, including physical therapy and dietary counseling to assess nutritional needs.
  • Volunteers with training in hospice companionship and caregiving for additional support.

Home hospice care is not a limited service simply because the patient has elected to receive care away from a medical facility. Hospice care today takes an interdisciplinary approach to medicine that includes care for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the patient and their family.

In short, this form of medicine demonstrates what it means to take care of the “whole person,” which also includes supporting loved ones. After all, the end of a person’s life is a monumental experience for everyone involved and requires the utmost respect and care from health professionals.

Hospice Today

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Further Benefits of Hospice Care Today

While the experience of home hospice care is extraordinarily impactful when you elect the right provider for support, there are additional reasons why this form of care is a powerful option – and these can be experienced before hospice even begins:

1. Home hospice care is 100% covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Private insurers also may provide coverage for hospice care.

2. A superior home care and hospice team will visit with you to ensure the treatment plan for hospice services is the right option for you.

3. This team will ensure that care is individualized, so the patient can experience this phase of life with the dignity they deserve.

Remember, however, that not all hospice care services are created equally – although this development would be ideal as hospice care continues to evolve. It is important to research hospice providers to find one that is a good fit for your needs and that even anticipates needs you didn’t expect.

Find the Right Home Hospice Provider for You

The right home hospice care provider will offer all the thorough services and benefits mentioned above, from collaboration between healthcare providers to compassionate bereavement services.

Do your research to see if the provider you are considering can offer the ideal level of care for yourself or a family member. Ask questions and ensure you communicate your needs clearly.

An outstanding provider will match your questions and requirements with solutions that make you feel comfortable and cared for during this critical time. It will be clear that this provider represents the pinnacle of what hospice care can be for patients today.

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