Hospice Frequent Questions
Is there nothing more we can do?
Choosing hospice is not the end, hospice is about living well in the time that remains and recent studies have shown that hospice and palliative care services may actually prolong life. Our team actively helps patients enjoy life and connect with the things that bring meaning and comfort to their life. The focus of treatment with Hospice changes from curing the disease to treating its symptoms, making the patient comfortable and supporting loved ones. Cascade Health hospice is committed to compassionately fulfilling patient needs so that they can live every day to its fullest, but the support does not end there. We provide resources and support for families as they care for their loved ones and navigating their own feelings of loss.
When should care from Hospice begin?
Cascade Hospice is available to all adults with a life-limiting illness. Patients must meet two of the following criteria for admission to Hospice:
- The patient has a life expectancy of six months or less, if the disease continues it normal course.
- Two physicians must assess and certify the appropriateness of hospice care for each patient. This is typically the patient’s physicians and the Hospice medical director. The six-month time period is simply a guideline for physicians. Hospice will provide care after six months if the patient continues to meet Hospice eligibility criteria.
- The patient chooses to change the focus of treating the disease to receiving palliative care.
- Palliative care focuses on symptom control and pain management. Once a patient is free of pain and distressing symptoms, he/she can experience a better quality of life. Patients have the energy to focus on what’s important to them.
- At any time while receiving hospice, a patient may chose to “revoke” Hospice and re-establish a plan to treat the disease.
Who provides Hospice Care?
Patients, family, and friends are vital members of care that is provided.
Our care team includes:
- Attending physician
- Medical director
- Social worker
- Registered nurse
- Home health aide
- Various complementary therapies
Each team member plays a unique role, focusing on the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the patient and family.
Does Cascade Hospice take away my treatment from other medical problems?
No. Cascade Hospice will provide all the care, medication, and equipment for the terminal illness that brought about the admission to Hospice. Patients can continue to receive treatment for any other non-Hospice medical problems they have or may develop.
How does Cascade Hospice manage pain?
Our Hospice professionals are experts in relieving pain. Their extensive knowledge of pain management allows them to provide an optimal balance between pain relief and physical alertness. Patients direct the amount of pain medication most comfortable for them. Care plans are administered to relieve symptoms while providing the best quality of life for the patient.
Where does Cascade Hospice provide care?
Hospice care can be provided in:
- Private homes/apartments
- Nursing homes
- Adult foster care homes
- Assisted living facilities
- Residential hospice facilities (Pete Moore Hospice House)
Regardless of the location, we know how important it is for patients to remain in familiar surroundings. While most Cascade Hospice patients are able to receive care in their homes, a time may come when this is no longer feasible. In this event, Cascade Hospice works with the patient and family to find the optimal facility for the patient to receive Hospice care.
How does Cascade Hospice help families?
Perhaps the biggest issue family members worry about, but are seldom comfortable talking about is their ability to care for a very ill loved one at home. Family members are understandably hesitant to assume the burden of care, and worry that they won’t be able to do everything “right”.
Once families become involved with Cascade Hospice, things change. Families soon become confident and assured that their nurse knows when it is time to teach them the next step. If there is an emergency, the on-call nurse is just a phone call away. As families successfully care for their loved one, they experience tremendous sense of accomplishment. Families also feel great satisfaction knowing and seeing that their loved one is comfortable and can enjoy life to the fullest extent possible.
Individuals diagnosed with a terminal illness also worry about the burden of care that their families and care givers face. Patients and caregivers alike are supported by the Hospice team. When patients begin Hospice care, they can rest assured that their individual needs will be addressed, allowing them to spend time with family and friends and focus on what matters most.
Who pays for Cascade Hospice?
Cascade Hospice is reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid. In addition, most insurance plans have a Hospice benefit that pays for all or part of the cost of Hospice care. In most circumstances, Cascade Hospice bills the insurance company directly. Cascade Hospice staff can provide specific details of your insurance plan.
When should I think about Cascade Hospice?
Ideally, conversations about end-of-life care will begin long before there is a need. We realize this discussion may be difficult to talk about therefore the present is the best time for family members to share their wishes, long before it becomes a concern. Having these conversations before the time for Hospice is needed and can greatly reduce stress and help the patient feel that they are in control and the family is unified in their decision. These conversations, or Palliative Care Consultations, help the patients and their family make an educated decision.