Most people have a “Myth Understanding” of what hospice is and how it could make such a huge difference for the patient and for the patient’s family caregiver.
Colette Osio, retired social worker, worked in the hospice world for many years and is shedding some light on the basics of hospice, palliative, support care, comfort care and respite care.
See below for over 40 BONUS Questions to ask before agreeing to hospice.
40+ Questions to Ask Before Hospice
Bonus not in video per viewers requests, QUESTIONS TO ASK A HOSPICE PROVIDER:
(Tip: Ask many questions from perspective of patient.)
(There are lots of ways to phrase questions. Hope you find these examples helpful!) ~~~~
What all is covered under hospice and can I still see my specialty doctors?
Will I be treated like a number or will I be treated like family.
Can we speak with other families/caregivers to learn their experience with your hospice team?
Will I have the same nurse, nurse aide, etc.?
How often will I see the nurse, nurse aide, chaplain, therapist, social worker, etc.?
What equipment can or will be provided?
What will be expected by my family members?
How will my pain be managed?
What if symptoms become uncontrollable at home, can I go to the hospital? Or a to skilled nursing facility? Will I get to choose where I go?
When I call with an urgent need, how long will it take for someone from Hospice team to respond?
How will the hospice team keep me and my family informed about my condition?
Can I still see my regular doctor? If yes, how will the hospice team coordinate care with my doctor?
How will the hospice team prepare me and my family for what to expect next (death)?
How will the hospice team care for my family now and after my death?
What does your bereavement program look like? How often do services come out?
Will I get addicted to pain medication?
Can I refuse the Chaplain since I am not religious?
Can I get off hospice?
Can I change hospice companies and how is that done?
Will I die alone? Will I die in pain?
Who will help my family when I am sick or gone?
More helpful questions:
Are you locally owned & operated?
What does your company offer that I can’t get anywhere else?
Do you have references?
What supplies come with your services?
Can I call you 24/7?
What are the on-call and after-hours procedures?
What type of therapies are still available on hospice (some restorative therapies, massage, and aromatherapy regimens are offered)?
What chaplain/religious/ counseling benefits are provided to the patient and to family members?
What does your bereavement program look like? (You are entitled to a year at no charge!)
What respite options are available? (Usually 5 days covered in a care setting.) What is we need more respite? How often can we use it?
Do you have continuous bedside service/presence in the final days?
What are their infection control policies and procedures, especially during pandemic?
If loved one is in a care community, what is the relationship between the community management and the hospice company?