to slaughter, i am new and read some past postings. My heart goes out to you and your family. You mentioned hospice at the end of your dad's ordeal. Could you please elaborate for me? Thank you (for my dad)
You bet! Hospice is a company that will come out to your home and help with caring for terminally ill people. It generally is free. Medicare pays for it. Most primary insurance companies will also pitch in the cost. If a person chooses to use hospice in their last months before passing, there has to be no more possible treatment for a cure. Meaning a cancer patient on hospice cannot get any more chemo treatments. It will not be covered. The person must be ready to live out their last days with no reason to cure. I worked for a hospice company here in my area, and I loved it so much. It also helped me a great deal with the care I gave my dad. Every hospice comapny has one thing in common. The patient. Keeping the patient comfortable. Depending on the disease they may use heavy drugs. In my dads case, he took medication to help keep him calm and pain free. Hospice has a huge line of staff. Including, Nurses, Nurses Aides (N.A.'s help the person to bathe and help them with their hygeine. Aides spend more time with the patient than any other person on the hospice staff) There are doctors and physical therapist, social workers. You name it and hospice has it. They have everything you will need. I recommend hospice to any person who is ill. Hospice does it the old fashioned way, they make house calls. They basically helps the patient pass away with ease. Is your father ill? Is he elderly? You mentioned this info was for your father. There is a hospice company in every state. You are from Canada. I think they have it up there. I recommend checking one out. Use your search engine and search for hospice in your state. I bet you will find out more. Hospice saved my dad from the pain that comes along with the end stages of ALS. I have the most respect for them.
[This message has been edited by slaughter17 (edited 09-13-2003).]
in canada, hospice combines hospital care, home visits, and it's free ...
my mum died a couple of years ago and adamantly refused to have anything to do with it, despite the fact that i'd read three books and numerous articles about it, tried to talk her into it, but she refused ... all those years in pain, when hospice could have done the job quite nicely ...
I believe in the United States that you can only be provided hospice(and be covered by insurance or medicare) if you are in your last six months of life. Some hospice care is done in a hospital and some hospice care is done at home. That is the patients choice.
Many hospitals offer a hospice program in-house. Private hospice companys usually operate as an in-home form of care.
Hospice provided us with great care for my Mom and additionally emotional help for her and the whole family. We wouldn't have survived without their compassion.
I worked for hospice for a time. Medicare requires that a physician writes a letter saying that this person is terminal and may have 6 months or less to live. No one knows when a person is going to pass away. Not even the best doctors. Medicare wants to make sure that they are paying for someone on hospice who meets the requirements of "terminal". Most doctors will say they have 6 months left so they can be accepted. I have had many patients that have been on hospice for years. As long as they have had a decline in their health within 6 months, they are hospice appropriate. That could include a dramatic weight loss, not eating well, or loss of any physical abilities, etc. Every hospice patient is evaluated by the hospice nurse and doctor every 4-6 months. If they still meet the hopspice requirements they submit the information to Medicare. Very rarely, someone is let off of hospice. Only if they get better or show no signs of change.