When a loved one is dying, you can find yourself pushed into the role of being the caregiver. Many times you don’t know what is expected of you and you find that you have little or no preparation for the challenges you are confronting.
Hospice of Montgomery has cared for thousands of families since our founding in 1976. We are most experienced in understanding what you as a caregiver are or will be going through. Our teams of experienced professionals provide top notch medical care, emotional support along with the unique ability to anticipate needs–all dedicated to improving the quality of life for the patient, you, and your family.
We have prepared a special Caregivers’ Section for you. There are practical suggestions, tips on caregiving, and important information for caring for yourself. Remember that only by taking care of yourself, will you be able to continue to care for your loved one.
We invite you to use the materials in the Caregiver’s Section and invite your family and friends to visit it, as well. If you have any questions or would like to share an idea with us, please call us at 334-279-6677. We would love to talk with you about why we are Montgomery’s most family-referred hospice.
Support for your loved one
We believe that quality of life is based on what matters most to each person. So we focus on giving our patients a quality of care that inspires living in their own way. When an advanced illness touches someone you love, it’s not easy to know where to turn for help or what the best options might be for both them and your family.
You may have had a conversation about hospice with your loved one’s physician, or heard about hospice from a friend. As you consider hospice, it will help to understand how Hospice of Montgomery can support the many needs of your loved one and what support we can offer you and the rest of your family. A major misconception is that choosing hospice means giving up hope. Hospice doesn’t mean that death is imminent. Some patients actually improve and may be discharged from hospice care. Should they choose, they can withdraw from hospice care at any time to seek medical treatments that may become available. At Hospice of Montgomery, we believe hospice is about focusing on life, rather than the disease. It is about focusing on what life can still be for your loved one and what they hope for in their final months of life.
Our nurses are trained in pain control and symptom management. One of our goals is to control your loved one’s pain and free them from distressing symptoms. This will help them to continue to embrace the very experiences that bring them meaning and joy for as long as possible. Our services also will help keep your loved one at home where they can be surrounded by family, friends and the things they have grown to cherish. But our care is not focused on a place. Our care is available wherever you and your loved one wishes: at home, in an assisted living or even a nursing home.
Hospice can also bring your loved one a greater sense of control. Our care is patient-focused, so we will encourage you and your loved ones to think and talk as a family about personal choices on how to live. We’ll completely tailor our care to support those goals and wishes. Remember, you and your loved one facing an advanced illness will be part of every decision, because hospice care is about fulfilling the goals and wishes of those we care for.
Support for you
Imagine a team of people dedicated to providing the best care possible while ensuring no one in the family feels completely overwhelmed or like they are facing this struggle alone. We know that the advanced illness your loved one is facing also affects you. In fact, every one in your family will in one way or another be touched by what your loved one is experiencing. But one of the many benefits of hospice care is that no one will face this journey alone. Just as we are there to help care for your loved one, we will be there for you and your entire family.
There will be many struggles you will face as you begin caring for your loved one. Some will be emotional, some will be physical and at times you will feel overwhelmed. As you enter this profound and meaningful journey, know that you are entering with us by your side. Our experienced team will help ensure you feel comfortable in your caregiving role by teaching you how to handle every aspect of providing care. We’ll prepare you for what to expect as your loved one’s health changes and provide support to make your role easier. We’ll empower you with knowledge, information, support, and resources. We’ll enhance your efforts with an entire team of compassionate individuals focused on helping your loved one make the most of each day.
The right timing
Hospice can become a choice when your loved one and the family decide it is time to focus on improving the quality of the time that remains. Hospice is a personal choice, so when to begin care can only truly be determined by your loved one and your family. Though their physician and others may offer advice, it’s up to them when to choose hospice care. Hospice care becomes an option when their physician determines that the life expectancy is 6 months or less should the disease follow its natural course. After 6 months if care is still needed and health continues to decline, hospice can continue. Medicare benefits and most private insurance pay for hospice care as long as the patient continues to meet their eligibility criteria.
But as many studies show, hospice care works best when started early on. In fact, our patients often tell us they wish they chose hospice sooner. There are many benefits hospice can bring that may help you and your loved ones now. For example, our patients who begin hospice care sooner have the opportunity to make use of our expertise in helping with pain control and symptom management earlier. Also, families caring for a loved one can benefit from the support our hospice caregiving team brings. We can share some of the responsibilities of providing day-to-day care. Choosing to let us help earlier can increase the quality of time left. Studies have shown that individuals on hospice have actually lived longer. Reducing pain, symptoms and easing responsibilities will let you and your family focus less on the disease and more on enjoying time together.
Who pays for hospice?
Hospice is an elected benefit of most insurance plans including Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA. Medicare covers the cost of clinical staff visits, medications, home equipment and supplies related to the terminal illness and comfort. Every insurance company is a little different, but many have inclusive plans similar to Medicare. After meeting with you and discussing your needs, we’ll verify insurance benefits to determine hospice coverage. If you do not have insurance, our social workers will work with you and your family to find funding options. Hospice of Montgomery is a nonprofit community agency that provides care to everyone, regardless of your ability to pay.
If you have questions, we’ll make it easy to get answers or to talk to someone about your needs and concerns. We’re here, ready to give you more information about the benefits of hospice care, offer choices and options, or help you begin care. Anyone can ask for hospice care. Research shows that hospice care works best and is most beneficial to you and your loved one when started early on. In fact, our patients often tell us they wish they chose hospice sooner. There are many benefits hospice can bring that may help you and your loved ones now.
Call us today, 334-279-6677, to begin a conversation.