Nuts & Bolts: What I Learned about Hospice
1.) Everyone in the United States can look forward to receiving hospice in the period prior to death.
2.) People with cancer receive hospice in priority.
3.) Your GP needs to provide a referral.
4.) Medicare pays for hospice.
5.) Hospice care lasts only six months.
1.) True. Hospice is available to anyone as an end-of-life comfort care service. In 2000, 1 in 4 Americans who died received hospice.
2.) False. Many of us think hospice is only for cancer patients. The majority of hospice patients have cancer, but hospice is also available to people with other life-threatening illnesses, including Alzheimer's.
3.) True. You can request this referral, however, from your doctor or have a hospice representative contact your doctor.
4.) True. Hospice is also covered by most insurers.
5.) False. Hospice care usually lasts less than six months, but not always. The period can be longer. Hospice also provides bereavement support for up to a year.
Death is not something most people want to think or talk about, but information is power: any person facing the advancing stages of a terminal illness is eligible for palliative care. It is also interesting to note that there are now different types of hospice in the United States, both non-profit and for profit. Bea is fortunate to have Hospice & Palliative Care of Cape Cod, a non-profit service which provides health aides, nurses, doctors, social workers, volunteers, chaplains, and grief counseling. For more information, see their Web site.