By Rebecca Barnes, Prince William Living Publisher
■ Is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans.
Research shows that people receiving hospice can live longer than similar patients who do not opt for this kind of care.
How to Choose the Right Hospice Care
The Professional Patient Advocate Institute recommends considering the following when selecting a hospice:
Location: The location of staff is important in case of an immediate need and could play a big part in how responsive an agency will be to your loved one. Keep this in mind when deciding whether hospice care should be provided at a nursing home, hospital or the patient’s home.
Quality: www.wheretofindcare.com has an online database of hospice providers. You can compare agencies by their consumer score, as rated by hospice patients who report on the quality of care.
Levels of care offered: When choosing a hospice, the ill will need a provider that can accommodate their specific needs.
Hospice staff: Medicare requires hospice agencies have physician participation, nursing services, home health aide services, social services and spiritual care. Look for providers that have a full-time medical director, home health aides, chaplains and volunteers.
Bringing comfort and peace at the end of life is a gift of love. I wish you the best in making tough final care decisions for your loved one and family.
Lifelong Prince William resident Rebecca Barnes, when not producing Prince William Living, is the Public Information Officer for the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department (OWL VFD). You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.