When your loved one is in the final stages of dementia, it can be a particularly difficult time. On top of the worry, frustration, and deep feelings, you must make sure you stay focused on how your loved one will be cared for. Hospice care can provide the comfortable and optimal environment for your loved one who suffers with dementia. We’ll take you through some recommended steps to ensuring they have the best care possible and the highest quality of life.
Consider Life Expectancy
Before you decide whether or not to put your loved one in hospice, consider how much time they have left. If the physician tells you they have at least a year or more left, it may be too soon. Generally, six months or less is a good amount of time to move your loved into hospice care for dementia patients.
Types of Hospice Care for Dementia Patients
If your loved one is in the final stages of dementia, they aren’t well enough to make decisions on their proper type of care. You should consider choosing between in-home hospice care or a hospice facility, as these are the two most common types of hospice care for dementia patients. Some prefer for their loved ones to receive care at home, since it is often an intimate place filled with sentimental items, while others are more comfortable knowing that a hospice facility is taking care of of them round the clock.
Who Pays for Hospice Care?
Who pays for your loved one’s hospice care depends on your loved one’s medical plan. If they are under Medicare or Medicaid, this will cover most of the costs. Additionally, if your loved one is insured, the insurance provider usually covers part of the costs too as long as the particular facility you choose accepts insurance.
Choosing the Right Program
The hospice program you select can make all the difference in your loved one having the best care as you prepare for them to pass on. Below is a list of a few things to consider when choosing a hospice program.
Your loved one will receive care from many staff members including volunteers, physical therapists, social workers, spiritual counselors, and of course doctors and nurses. Think about the quality of staff and, if possible, meet with a representative so you can get an idea of how the hospice staff care for the patients. It can also be helpful to check online reviews.
Certifications & Licensing
Is the facility certified by Medicare and/or is the program state-licensed? If this matters to you, ask the facility if they are certified. Although not being licensed doesn’t necessarily mean the facility isn’t up to par, a licensed facility guarantees that the facility is operating by state standards, while a Medicare certified facility guarantees you’ll be covered under your loved one’s Medicare policy.
Of course your loved one will need care, but what about you and the family? This is just as important as care for your loved one because it affects those close to you. Find out if the hospice offers counseling, therapy, or bereavement services for you and your family.
There are a range of conditions that can allow for a person to consider hospice care. Some patients are dealing cancer, liver problems, kidney failure, or other life-limiting conditions. Because your loved one is coping with dementia, you’ll want to ask the facility about any specialized treatment they offer for patients with this condition.
Many times, patients pass away within the expected dates, and other times their end-of-life process may take longer. Ask the facility about their protocol for extensions in case your loved one doesn’t end up passing during the time anticipated.
Contact Harbor Light Hospice
Admitting your loved one with dementia into hospice can be hard, but it can bring you comfort knowing that they will be truly cared for. Take all necessary steps and ask all the necessary questions to make sure you and your family have peace of mind during this difficult time. For more information on hospice care for dementia patients, speak to a representative at Harbor Light Hospice. Learn more online or contact us today to find a location near you.