What is hospice care? What services should I expect?

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Courtesy of DHR Health

By: Dr. Daniel Tamez
Chief Executive of DHR Health Hospice

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. During this time we focus on community awareness and explain the multiple benefits about hospice services. Patients often ask, “What is Hospice Care”, hospice care is comprehensive medical program focused on improving the quality of life for patients with a terminal illness.

Hospice is not a place, it is a service in which we offer emotional, physical, and spiritual resources to patients, at home, an assisted living facility, nursing home, or at a hospital. This type of care is specialized for patients who have a life expectancy of six months or less. DHR Health Hospice is an interdisciplinary team composed of physicians, physician assistants (PA’s), nurse practitioners (NP’s), nurses, social workers, chaplains and certified nursing assistants (CNA’s). Hospice care is about living life as fully as possible. In fact, patients and families have improved outcomes and better control of their symptoms when hospice care is started early.

Hospice services are part of a complete Medicare benefit, meaning there is little to no cost associated with hospice care. Hospice care includes medications, medical supplies, and durable medical equipment such as hospital beds, oxygen, or any other hospice related diagnosis necessities that help improve a patient’s quality of life. Hospice care is also covered by many commercial and private insurances. In addition, hospice services provide bereavement supportive services to families up to one year after a patient is no longer in service.

At DHR Health Hospice, we understand that transitioning a loved one to hospice care is a difficult decision to make. Our mission is to ensure that you and your loved one are prepared and informed about hospice care to make the transfer process as simple and most convenient as possible for everyone involved.

DHR Health Hospice can help guide you and your family by answering any questions about the hospice services that are available to you or your loved one. If you would like to schedule an informational talk, please call DHR Health Hospice at 956-362-5780.