Make the right hospice care choice in Los Angeles for yourself or your loved ones in 2022.
Many Los Angelenos live their lives to the fullest, being in a vibrant city with eclectic neighborhoods, entertaining indoor and outdoor activities, and world-class amenities. But for some who call the City of Angels home, they are nearing the end of the road, with no foreseeable cure or recovery. Nonetheless, they still deserve to have as much quality as possible for their remaining time and might be wondering if the service Los Angeles has available can provide that to them. It is important to understand first what hospice can do for them, as care can be different for every family.
What Hospice Means
Hospice is about providing care and comfort to terminally-ill individuals when they have stopped receiving medical treatments that are no longer working for them. It comes from the Latin word “hospice,” which means host and guest. Often, pain and discomfort accompany those suffering from end-stage diseases such as cancer and chronic kidney illness. Hospice takes a holistic approach by managing pain alongside the overall well-being of the patient facing a life-limiting condition, including their family members and loved ones. Los Angeles providers also lend support to the primary caregiver for the patient to spend the remainder of their lives with grace and dignity.
When Hospice Is Recommended
Usually, hospice comes in when a patient has six months or less to live, and their condition has advanced to a point deemed incurable. Hospice is designed to care for, not cure, someone whose attending doctor has issued a short life expectancy prognosis.
But according to a Brown University-led study, 10 percent of the terminally-ill population receive hospice too late in the stage, rendering their needs such as pain mitigation and emotional support unserved. Perhaps this delay is due to the misconception that seeking hospice is a sign of waving the white flag or speeding up one’s demise to end the suffering. On the contrary, hospice values life, making sure the last few months, weeks, and days still count. Getting the right hospice service Los Angeles provider in a timely fashion is key to maximizing the benefits.
Types of Hospice Service Los Angeles Offers
There are several types of hospice services offered in the Los Angeles area, including:
- Pain and symptom management. Controlling pain and symptoms is the main objective of hospice care. However, there are instances where family members become worried that the patient is getting “too drugged.” It is common to use strong medications for this type of specialized care. A good hospice service Los Angeles practitioner will find the proper balance between alleviating pain and enabling patients to live their lives surrounded by loved ones.
- Physical therapy. This type of treatment complements other therapies such as aromatherapy, pet therapy, and massage, among others that patients can benefit from. A hospice service Los Angeles physical therapist employs exercises that enhance the person’s functional abilities, which can aid in pain modulation, proper breathing, and sore prevention. The physical therapist also shares their knowledge with those in the hospice and team and, at the same time, often assists in other hospice tasks.
- Nutrition planning. Part of improving the quality of life is to ensure that the patient observes a nutritional diet. However, some may argue that given the limited time left for the individual, it would seem pointless for them to control their food intake. Instead, they can just eat whatever they want, when they want it. On the contrary, planning their meals is still a worthwhile task because it can provide energy which can put the individual in better condition.
- Spiritual counseling. Hospice service Los Angeles centers may offer spiritual care for patients and their families. However, it is optional since it depends on the patient’s religion and spiritual beliefs. In any case, spiritual counselors are often well-educated on different religions and cultures, which equip them to adapt to the individual’s religious beliefs.
Choosing the Right Hospice Care
Although the law requires every hospice program to offer basic yet crucial services, a compassionate hospice service Los Angeles patients can rely on is something you may need and rather have at some point, either for yourself or a loved one. To help you decipher the right one, here are some quick tips:
- Check the hospice provider’s reputation
- Make sure they are certified in this field
- Schedule a consult
- Ask about the services they offer and how they handle the illness specific to the patient
- Weigh your findings (including your gut feel) and decide
- Is hospice service the same as palliative care? Both may be similar in managing the pain but differ in timing. Palliative care can begin as soon as the patient has sought medical treatment for their illness. On the other hand, hospice refers to the care given after the individual has ceased to take curative treatments.
- Does seeking a hospice service provider mean that the patient has given up on life? No. Instead, quite the contrary. By seeking hospice, it indicates that the patient desires to spend their last moments in the best condition possible despite the circumstances.
- Do I need to get a doctor’s recommendation before turning to hospice? You do not have to wait for your doctor to make the call. As soon as the patient has stopped the treatments, this is the decision you can make on their behalf as a family member while getting their doctor’s input.
- Where does one get hospice service? Hospice can be rendered at the comfort of the patient’s home, hospital, nursing home, or hospice facility, depending on the preference or situation.
- Can the person change their mind concerning hospice service? It is an optional service. The patient can choose to stop receiving it or continue even if they exceed their life expectancy.
- Who pays for hospice? Hospice care per se is generally covered by Medicare and Medicaid in full, especially for those who have availed from hospice service Los Angeles providers. They do not shoulder the room and board charge if you opt to be in an inpatient facility or nursing home unless recommended by your hospice team. You will only have to pay a minimal copayment in the latter’s case. Alternatively, private health insurance agencies would cover the hospice cost plus other charges based on the insurance plan.