Hospice care is a medical plan of care that concentrates on enhancing a patient’s day-to-day comfort, typically within the last 6 months of life. The focus of hospice care is geared towards improving one’s quality of life rather than curing an illness. Its goal is to help support patients and their families as they navigate the emotional end of life journey together.
One common misconception about hospice is that it is a physical location where care is provided. While there are hospice facilities, the term hospice actually refers to a type of care that can be implemented anywhere, such as a person’s home or an assisted living facility.
Minute Women is a community partner of the Honoring Choices program if you are in need of advance care planning. For families outside of Massachusetts, Minute Women recommends Five Wishes advanced care planning.
We understand that some seniors we provide care to will be apprehensive about having caregivers in their home. Our presence might be a reminder of their loss of independence and, in some cases, their old age.
We received a call from Beth, the friend and healthcare proxy of Mary. Mary was bed-bound and needed hospice care. She had been a difficult person when she was well and had alienated her family and most of her friends. Furthermore, Beth was very upfront with us that Mary was angry about her terminal diagnosis.
We provided every accommodation to make Mary comfortable. We prepared our caregiver Sarah as best we could on what to expect. She arrived at Mary’s home and Beth introduced her. Mary scowled at Sarah and told her to go sit in a chair on the other side of her room. She would speak up if she needed her.
Once Beth left for the night, Mary told the caregiver to turn her chair and face the wall so Mary didn’t have to see her face. Whenever Mary moaned or fidgeted, Sarah would offer assistance, but Mary would repeatedly tell her to get back in her chair and “shut up.”
Once Sarah completed her shift she called the Minute Women offices to report what had occurred. We asked if Sarah wanted to continue working with Mary, fully expecting her to resign. Instead, Sarah replied,
“My job and calling is to help people, regardless of their attitude. Everyone’s journey with death is different, some take it more gracefully than others. I will go back and care for our client.”
It wasn’t easy, but Sarah persevered and found ways to connect. Mary eventually accepted her care in the months before she passed.
While a hospice company or program will provide a patient’s medical plan of care and invaluable support, they are generally unable to offer more than eight hours of care per week. This leaves family members with the physically and emotionally challenging demands of caring for a loved one as he or she becomes increasingly ill.
Our aides at Minute Women Home Care can help supplement those hours hospice workers cannot be there. This allows family members to spend more quality time with their loved ones while giving them the space they need to process the overwhelming loss they are about to face. Our caregivers are here to help with any number of hours needed throughout the day or night.
Our hospice services focus on improving the lives of both patients and family members by helping to keep patients comfortable and cared for while providing family members with respite care.
Our aides are compassionate, considerate of your privacy and available for any number of hours of care needed, including hourly, 24/7, and live-in care.
Medicare or Medicaid will generally cover hospice services for individuals over the age of sixty-five. For those under sixty-five, private insurance may cover hospice, although it will often cover a less expansive range of services.
Hospice is generally covered for up to eight hours of care per week by a collaborative team that can include doctors, nurses, social workers, and various aides. It can be provided by independent hospice facilities or through programs based in hospitals, nursing homes, or other healthcare organizations.