Senior Citizen's Guide to Philadelphia and Suburbs Fall/Winter 2013 - page 27

Boomers Resource Guide
• Fall/Winter 2013
25
Q. What is hospice?
A.
Hospice allows a terminally
ill patient to spend their last days
at home, in familiar settings, with
their loved ones. Hospice focuses
on maximizing the quality of
remaining life by addressing the
physical, social, emotional and
spiritual needs of terminally-ill
patients and their families. Care
is delivered in the home or inpa-
tient setting and is provided by a
medically directed interdisciplinary
team, including a physician, nurses,
social workers, clergy, home health
aides, therapist, and any number of
volunteers. Bereavement support
is provided to both families and
caregivers.
Q. Is hospice care covered
by insurance?
A.
Hospice coverage is widely
available. It is provided by Medi-
care nationwide, by Medicaid
in some 42 states, and by most
private health insurance policies.
Q. Does hospice do any-
thing to make death come
sooner?
A.
Hospices do nothing either
to speed up or to slow down the
dying process. Just as doctors and
midwives lend support and exper-
tise during the time of child birth,
hospice provides its presence and
specialized knowledge during the
dying process.
Q. How does hospice “man-
age pain”?
A.
Hospice nurses and doc-
tors are up-to-date on the latest
medication and devices for pain
and symptom relief. In addition,
physical and occupational thera-
pists assist patients to be as mobile
and self-sufficient as possible, and
they are often joined by special-
ists schooled in music therapy, art
therapy, diet counseling, and other
therapies. Hospice believes that
emotional and spiritual pain are
just as real and in need of attention
as physical pain, so it addresses
these as well. Counselors, includ-
ing clergy, are available to assist
family members as well as patients.
Article provided by The
Pennsylvania Hospice Network,
Hospice FAQs
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