FAQs about Hospice Services
- What does it mean when it’s time to call hospice?
- What’s the first step to getting started with hospice care?
- 安寧療護團隊裡有哪些人？ Who is responsible for care?
- Where do patients receive hospice services?
- If hospice is for the dying, does choosing a hospice mean giving up on my loved one?
- When is it time for hospice?
- What is the difference between diagnosis and prognosis?
- What are the qualifications for hospice care?
- Can my doctor still be my doctor if I go on hospice?
- Will our family still have a say about our mother’s care if she’s on hospice?
- What if the hospice patient has special needs?
- What if my family member needs special equipment?
- Who will talk to me about my loved one once we have hospice? Who will keep us informed?
- If I have home health, why do I need hospice care?
- My mother is already in a nursing home. Why would she need hospice services there?
- Why would I put my child in hospice? Isn't hospice for the very old?
- Will hospice care for my dad 24/7? Will I still need to take care of him?
- What is end-of-life care?
- What is “comfort care?”
- What is palliative care?
- What is respite care?
- I don't want my wife to die in our home. Can we have inpatient care instead?
- Can you come to talk to my sister about hospice but not mention cancer, death or dying? She doesn't know.
- What if a patient’s health improves while on hospice care?
- What is an advance directive?
- What happens after my loved one dies?
FAQs about Paying for Hospice
- 誰支付安寧療護的費用？ Is it covered by my insurance?由聯邦醫療保險支付？由州政府醫療保險支付？
- Who pays for hospice room and board?
- If I don’t have insurance, can I still receive hospice services?
- If Medicare covers my hospice services, will I lose my other Medicare coverage?
- Can I have hospice and also keep my HMO?
- Is there a fee for a hospice consultation?
FAQs about Hospice and Medical Conditions
- What are the signs that hospice is right for heart disease patients?
- What are the signs that hospice is right for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients?
- What are the signs that hospice is right for ALS patients?
- What are the signs that hospice is right for cancer patients?
- What are the signs that hospice is right for COPD patients?
- What are the signs that hospice is right for Parkinson’s Disease patients?
FAQs about VITAS Healthcare
- VITAS Healthcare為何？
- 什麼是緩和療護協會（Palliative Care Associates）？
- Why should I choose VITAS?
FAQs about Hospice Services
Hospice is a way to care for people who are terminally ill by focusing on pain relief and symptom management, as well as emotional and spiritual end-of-life issues, instead of trying to cure the disease.
What does it mean when it’s time to call hospice?
Calling hospice means deciding that the patient and family no longer want to pursue curative care. Generally, a physician determines that a patient's life expectancy is six months or less; most medical treatments and interventions are no longer effective, will not cure the disease and/or will prolong suffering. Calling hospice takes a patient's care away from disease specialists and surgeons and gives it to an interdisciplinary team trained in comfort care, pain relief, psychosocial support and quality of life at the end of life.
What’s the first step to getting started with hospice care?
Anyone can request a hospice evaluation at no cost. Sometimes the physician makes the referral or provides several options and lets the patient/family decide. The physician must certify to the hospice provider that the patient is eligible and has a prognosis of 6 months or less. When a referral is made, the hospice provider makes an appointment (the same day or on a date convenient for the family) to meet with the patient and family. The admissions nurse evaluates the patient, answers the family's questions and creates a plan of care that reflects the patient/family's wishes. If the discussion goes well and the family is ready to decide, they sign admissions paperwork and the hospice team begins to visit.
安寧療護團隊裡有哪些人？ Who is responsible for care?
Hospice patients receive services from an "interdisciplinary" team, meaning members come from different disciplines or fields. They may include a physician, registered nurse, hospice aide, social worker, chaplain, bereavement services manager, volunteer and other healthcare professionals.
A full range of services: The VITAS Care Team
Where do patients receive hospice services?
通常，安寧療護在病人稱為家的地方提供服務，包括私人住宅、生活輔助社區或療養院。 Patients can also receive hospice services while in the hospital, or in an 住院病房。
Hospice is not a place: 居家安寧療護
Levels of care are specific types of hospice care to address different needs of patients and families.聯邦醫療保險規定所有的安寧療護服務業者提供 four distinct levels of care. They are:
- Routine hospice care in the home
- 當病人有醫療上的需要時，在家中提供急性症狀控制的輪班照護。 VITAS calls this Intensive Comfort Care®, it can also be called “continuous care.”
- Round-the-clock 住院療護 when symptoms cannot be managed at home
- Respite inpatient care for the patient when the family caregiver is away 1−5 days
If hospice is for dying, does choosing a hospice mean giving up on my loved one?
No. When treatment options for a disease have been exhausted or no longer work, hospice provides a way for people to live in comfort, peace and dignity without curative care. Hospice isn't about giving up, but about improving the quality of the patient's life by being free of pain, surrounded by family and in the comfort of home.
Focusing on the person, not the disease: Hospice is Not About Giving Up
When is it time for hospice?
Patients should consider hospice services when medical treatments can no longer cure their disease and/or symptom burden outweighs the benefits of treatment. 當醫師確認病人的預估生命期不到六個月時，安寧療護服務即可開始進行。
When waiting won't help: 高品質的安寧療護需要時間成就
What is the difference between diagnosis and prognosis?
A diagnosis is when the cause of the illness is identified (e.g., the common cold, pneumonia, lung cancer, etc.). A prognosis is a prediction about how the illness will develop. In the case of people who are terminally ill, the prognosis is often the physician's estimate of how long the illness will take to run its course before the patient dies.
What are the qualifications for hospice care?
A patient is eligible to receive hospice services when their illness is terminal, meaning a physician has determined that they could die within six months if the disease continues as expected. There are medical guidelines that accord with the patient’s disease and help a physician make a hospice referral.
The hospice nurse creates a plan of care with the patient's and family's input, designed to meet the patient's needs.這個計劃將決定醫師、護士及其他安寧療護團隊的成員去探訪病人的頻率。
Can my doctor still be my doctor if I go on hospice?
Yes. Hospice physicians and team members work with your doctor to ensure your clinical and emotional needs are being met and that your care is being carried out appropriately. Your doctor chooses his or her level of participation in your care.
Will our family still have a say about our mother’s care if she’s on hospice?
Yes. Family input is important and is the driving force behind developing the most effective plan of care for your mother.
What if the hospice patient has special needs?
安寧療護照護計劃均是個人化計劃，以符合每位病人的需求。 If special equipment (e.g., wheelchair, lift, trapeze bar, etc.) or therapies (e.g., respiratory therapy, physical therapy, etc.) are needed, the hospice provider offers these as part of its services. Perhaps the need is for a certain religious practice or person, a family or cultural tradition, a language other than English or another unique circumstance. Hospice providers address each patient's needs.
What if my family member needs special equipment?
Hospice patients may need oxygen, a special lift for over the bed, a bedside commode, incontinence supplies or medications that are related to their terminal disease. Sometimes a hospital bed or Geri chair makes it easier for the family caregiver to attend to the patient at home. Medications, supplies and "durable medical equipment" are part of the hospice team's plan of care for the patient, and should be provided at no cost by the hospice. Because the family is part of the hospice team, they should be included in discussions of the plan of care and what the hospice patient needs to be comfortable.
Continue Reading: VITAS居家醫療器材部門
Who will talk to me about my loved one once we have hospice? Who will keep us informed?
You will always be kept up-to-date on your loved one's condition. The primary hospice nurse can answer any questions you have, tell you about your loved one's care and progress, and prepare you for what to expect.
Considering all perspectives: 安寧療護剛開始幾天時的注意事項
If I have home health, why do I need hospice care?
Hospice offers many 服務 home health care does not, such as prescriptions, 醫療設備， and visits from an interdisciplinary healthcare staff. Typically, the goal of home healthcare is to help the patient become more independent, and visits decrease in frequency as the patient's condition improves. 安寧療護的目的則是在症狀越發增加的情況下保持病人舒適。安寧療護服務會改變以配合病人的需求。
What's the Difference? Home Health Care or Hospice Care
My mother is already in a nursing home. Why would she need hospice services there?
療養院著重在日常例行照顧及復健。 Nursing home residents who receive hospice services get additional, customized support determined by their plan of care, which focuses on the physical, emotional and spiritual end-of-life needs of patients and their families.
Why would I put my child in hospice? Isn't hospice for the very old?
Will hospice care for my dad 24/7? Will I still need to take care of him?
Yes, you will always be his primary caregiver. Hospice can supplement that care to help share the responsibility of caregiving with regular visits and education from the hospice care team.
Here to help: 安寧療護是全面療護服務
What is end-of-life care?
Care near the end of life focuses on comfort rather than cure. It is care that accepts that the patient is declining and that attempts to reverse the course of their terminal illness would be futile or that side effects would outweigh any benefit. The patient is terminally ill and chooses comfort care, which is also known as 緩和療護.
閱讀詳情： End-of-Life Care Resources
What is “comfort care?"
Comfort care focuses on comfort and relief from symptoms as opposed to curing or treating the disease. Comfort care addresses all the needs of the patient and family-physical, emotional and spiritual.
What is palliative care?
Palliative care is supportive care that provides relief from the symptoms, physical stress and mental stress of a serious or life-limiting illness at any stage of the illness, and it can be provided concurrently with curative therapies and treatments. Palliative medicine specialists control pain, manage symptoms, assist with difficult medical decisions about various treatments, coordinate care with other healthcare professionals, and craft a care plan based on the patient's wishes and preferences. Palliative care can be provided at home or in other settings, including hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. A palliative care team may include the patient and caregiver(s), a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, dietitian, physical or occupational therapist, social worker, chaplain and other healthcare professionals as needed.
What is respite care?
Respite care (pronounced RESS-pit) gives a break, or "respite," to family members and caregivers who are caring for a loved one receiving hospice services. A daughter who cares for a mother with Alzheimer's disease, for example, might need a few days off to travel, attend to other family members or take a break from the 24/7 stress of caregiving. Hospice respite care is mandated by the Medicare hospice benefit for any beneficiary whose caregiver needs a break of up to five consecutive days and nights. It places a hospice patient in a facility that provides 24-hour care (e.g., nursing home, skilled nursing facility, hospital or hospice unit) without having to meet the criteria for traditional inpatient care or symptom management.
I don't want my wife to die in our home. Can she have inpatient care instead?
Your preference for inpatient care should be discussed with the hospice representative who evaluates your wife or with the hospice team if she is already a hospice patient. 每位病人及每種病情皆不相同。
Can you come to talk to my sister about hospice but not mention cancer, death or dying? She doesn't know.
Hospice professionals are specially trained to discuss sensitive matters with patients and their loved ones. Usually, a hospice representative will begin the conversation by asking the patient what the doctor has said and what the patient understands about his or her condition. The answer to these questions will determine the words the representative will use.
What if a patient’s health improves while on hospice care?
Patients often improve with hospice services, because the focus of their care shifts to comfort, pain relief, symptom management and quality of life. They still have a terminal illness, but their symptoms are so improved that they no longer qualify for hospice services. A hospice must discharge a patient whose underlying disease or condition is no longer considered terminal. Patients can revoke hospice care for any reason at any time. Patients can also return to hospice at any time, as long as their doctor re-certifies their eligibility.
What is an advance directive?
An advance directive is a legal document that lets you direct in advance the care you will receive at some future time. It is often important near the end of life, when many people are not able to speak for themselves. Completing an advance directive requires that you consider your options and make decisions now, while you are healthy, about what you do and do not want if you are seriously ill and unlikely to get better. Advance directives include different forms and vary by state. They may be called Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Living Will, Five Wishes, Medical Power of Attorney, Healthcare Proxy, My Directives, Advance Care Planning, etc.
Continue Reading: 醫療照護事前指示：重點須知
What happens after my loved one dies?
Ideally, a member of your hospice team will be at the bedside at the time of death, able to explain the stages of death, make necessary phone calls, prepare the body and support the family in the first few hours. He or she will arrange for the body to be removed or, if the family would like to wait, perhaps until a family member arrives, that can be arranged as well. If a member of the team is not present at the death, he or she will arrive as soon as you call the hospice provider.
What to expect: 安寧療護病人在家過世時該怎麼辦？
Hospices employ bereavement specialists to address all aspects of 哀傷, including 預想性哀傷 和 grief process after death. Hospices provide bereavement services for the family for up to 13 months after the death.
Grief is normal: Grief and Grieving - VITAS Provides Support After a Death
FAQs about Paying for Hospice
誰支付安寧療護的費用？ Is it covered by my insurance?由聯邦醫療保險支付？由州政府醫療保險支付？
How payment works: 聯邦醫療保險和安寧療護費用
Who pays for hospice room and board?
There is no room-and-board fee for hospice services. Hospice is brought to the patient in the place they call home-an apartment, nursing home, assisted living community or other residential care facility. Even when a patient is placed in a freestanding hospice facility, there is no room and board fee. And while 98 percent of hospice care happens at home*, when hospice patients require round-the-clock inpatient care, that level of care is also provided at no charge to the patient or family. Patients with a terminal illness usually pay nothing for hospice services. Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Health Administration beneficiaries are fully covered. Most private insurances also cover hospice services. Patients with no insurance can be covered by the charitable arm of their hospice provider. Talk to a local hospice provider for more information.
*NHPCO Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America. Alexandria, VA: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, Rev. ed. April 2018, pg 6, “Level of Care.”
If I don’t have insurance, can I still receive hospice services?
Yes. If you don’t have insurance coverage, the hospice admissions staff will work with you to determine financial responsibility and self-payments and to find out if you are eligible for other benefits that could help pay for services.
Covered services: Hospice Patient Eligibility Requirements
If Medicare covers my hospice services, will I lose my other Medicare coverage?
No. If you need hospitalization for any reason unrelated to the terminal disease, traditional Medicare will be used. You can discontinue the Medicare hospice benefit at any time if you want treatment different from what hospice provides. You may also resume the Medicare hospice benefit at any time.
Can I have hospice and also keep my HMO?
Yes. Hospice will provide care related to the primary diagnosis, while the HMO can take care of unrelated healthcare issues.
Is there a fee for a hospice consultation?
Get a hospice consultation: 線上索取資訊 or call 866.273.0802
FAQs about Hospice and Medical Conditions
Although each of the diseases listed below has unique symptoms, hospice is available to any patient with a prognosis of six months or less. While every patient's case is unique, some symptoms to look for are listed below:
What are the signs that hospice is right for heart disease patients?
Continue reading: 為心臟病患者提供的安寧療護
What are the signs that hospice is right for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients?
Continue reading: 針對失智症和阿茲海默症患者的安寧療護
At the end of their lives, Alzheimer's patients present several challenges to their caregivers. When these patients are in the last stages of life, hospice can relieve some of the burden-physically, emotionally and spiritually-for caregivers as well as help the patient's end-of-life experience be comfortable and dignified.
What are the signs that hospice is right for ALS patients?
- Progression* from independent ambulation to wheelchair or bed-bound
- Progression* from normal to barely intelligible or unintelligible speech
- Progression* from normal to pureed diet
- Progression* from independence in most or all activities of daily living (e.g., toileting, feeding, dressing, etc.) to needing major assistance with these tasks
* Progression is defined as the development of severe neurologic disability over a 12-month period.
Continue reading: 針對肌萎縮性脊髓側索硬化症（葛雷克氏症）患者的安寧療護
What are the signs that hospice is right for cancer patients?
Continue reading: 針對癌症病人的安寧療護
If the chemotherapy were being used to attempt to cure the cancer, hospice would be inappropriate. However, a patient receiving hospice services may receive chemo for reasons of comfort and quality of life; for example, to shrink a tumor that is pressing on an organ.
What are the signs that hospice is right for COPD patients?
Continue reading: 針對肺病患者的安寧療護
What are the signs that hospice is right for Parkinson’s Disease patients?
- Any of the progressions under “ALS” above
Continue reading: Hospice Care for Neurological Diseases - Stroke, Coma, Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis
FAQs about VITAS Healthcare
VITAS® (pronounced VEE-tahss) Healthcare is the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care.
7 more facts: VITAS Healthcare Fast Facts
VITAS cares for patients and families in 15 states and the District of Columbia.公司的總部設在佛羅里達州邁阿密。
Find us near you: VITAS Healthcare Locations
- Four levels of care, including routine care in the home, shifts of acute symptom management in the home when medically necessary (Intensive Comfort Care®), round-the-clock inpatient care when symptoms can’t be managed at home, respite inpatient care
- Telecare®—24/7 support for patients and family and team members ready to be dispatched to the patient’s home after hours if needed
Coordinated care: VITAS安寧療護服務
Next step: What to Expect the First Few Days of Hospice
What is Palliative Medical Associates?
The word palliative means comfort.緩和療護即為舒適療護，旨在處理造成不適的疼痛和其他症狀。緩和醫療協會 是VITAS Healthcare的一個部門，為病人及家屬提供積極性症狀控制和支持的諮詢及專業知識，無論病人是否適合安寧療護。
The difference: 緩和療護與安寧療護
Why should I choose VITAS?
At VITAS Healthcare, everyone in the company works from the same belief: patients and families come first. We offer 24-hour support. Our nurses are available at all times, even weekends and holidays. Our patients receive individualized care plans to ensure their needs-physical, emotional, spiritual-and those of their families are always being met.