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Consumer How To Choose Guide 2015

Dalton Daily CItizen, Dalton Magazine

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32 The Daily Citizen ◆ HOW TO CHOOSE GUIDE 2015 According to the Hospice Foundation of America, a third of all Americans choose hospice care when they are dying. Opting for hospice care is one of the most compassionate decisions you will ever make. Hospice provides support and comfort for people who need end-of-life care. You will find hospice workers in assisted living centers, nursing homes, hospitals and residential facilities. Some patients may even receive care in their own homes or the homes of friends and family. It isn't only for the dying. Loved ones also benefit from hospice care, as workers will support them through some of the most difficult moments in life. And while all hospice centers are regu- lated by the government, each facility has meaningful differences in personnel, poli- cies and facilities. Location Hospice specializes in making the patient feel as comfortable as possible. Care can take place anywhere. Patients can even receive treatment in their own homes, where they are most comfortable. Some diseases may require more spe- cialized care than others. The patient can also choose to stay in a facility that can give them easy, 24-hour access to nurses, medication and medical equipment need- ed for their comfort. It is always best to consult with a doc- tor regarding this decision. The hospice staff will meet with the patient's physician to talk about the current symptoms, med- ical history and life expectancy. Then they will let you know which options are avail- able to you. Communication Pick a hospice service that helps you feel at ease. You are going to have to ask and answer some extremely difficult questions. Death is a tough subject to discuss. Clear, caring communica- tion is absolutely essential. A quality hospice pro- gram will give you all the time and personal attention you need to ease your mind. Part of picking hospice involves having the right feeling. If the hospice staff is personable and makes you feel comfortable, that's a good sign. Referrals Every patient who receives hospice treatment must be qualified by a physician. Usually, this means there is a life expectancy of six months or less. Since some physicians may hesitate to broach the subject of hospice care, you may need to bring it up yourself. Ask whether hospice care would be appropri- ate and which services might be most helpful to ease the end-of-life process. You can also approach a hospice facili- ty directly to ask about their services. They will help you determine which care is most appropriate. Hospice care has been growing since the 1990s. Many people are realizing that it is possible to die with peace and digni- ty. Hospice can help the end-of-life expe- rience a little easier for the patient and loved ones. H OW TO CHOOSE HOSPICE CARE WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW k j All hospice centers are reg- ulated by the government, but each facility will have differ- ences in personnel and policy. A quality hospice pro- gram will make you feel at ease k j Location matters because the needs and wants of the patient should be considered. Hospice patients must be qualified by a physician, which means they usually have a life expectancy of six months of less

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