Hospice Care San Fernando, CA
Hospice care in San Fernando, CA is a form of medical care that focuses on the palliation of symptoms and pain. Hospice care is often outpatient, provided in the patients place of residence like their home or nursing home, or inpatient. It can be provided by physicians, Registered Nurses, trained volunteers and other providers. The goal for hospice patients is comfort with peacefulness and dignity as opposed to aggressive treatment which may increase length of life but not quality. The goal for family members is understanding their loved ones wishes and needs at the end-of-life stage. Hospice care is a part of palliative care which focuses on reducing suffering in those with life-limiting illnesses.
Hospice was developed in the United Kingdom and the United States in response to a need for care that focused on comfort rather than curative treatment. Hospice care in San Fernando, CA is provided by a community of health professionals referred to as a hospice team. The hospice team consists of physicians, nurses, social workers, bereavement counselors and other health professionals. The team provides interdisciplinary treatment through medical assessment and recommendation for pain management and other symptom control techniques.
Hospice has several benefits including:
- allowing the patient to remain in their familiar surroundings
- allowing terminally ill patients to receive treatment for symptoms that may not be possible during their last months of life such as wound care
- providing family members emotional support during the difficult time of watching their loved one die
- and reducing hospitalization costs by decreasing costly medical interventions that provide no value to patients at the end-of-life stage.
Hospice is not for everyone. Most people in need of palliative care do not qualify for hospice care. To qualify, the patient must have less than six months to live with a terminal or life-limiting illness such as cancer. Patients in San Fernando, CA also must be able to make their own medical decisions and must be physically capable of being admitted for hospice care.
In the United States, Medicare pays 100% of a patient’s hospice costs if they are terminally ill and have been previously approved by their physician as meeting the necessary criteria. There are no out-of-pocket expenses such as copayments, coinsurance or deductibles. However, the patient must agree to forgo treatment for curative purposes. Medicaid also has certain requirements including a state plan covering hospice services.
Hospice care in San Fernando, CA is most often provided in a home, nursing home or other medical facility, but can also be provided in hospitals with palliative care units. The decision of setting is made by the patient and family after consultation with their physician and hospice provider.
Hospice care in San Fernando, CA is based on the concept of treating symptoms, not diseases; therefore there is no cure. Hospices do not provide treatment that aims to cure cancer or any other disease but instead provide relief from the symptoms of those diseases and focus on comfort measures only. Hospice care is usually begun when curative treatments have failed to improve the patients health or prolong life and is often used in the last six months of life. Once a patient becomes eligible for hospice care, they can be admitted whenever it is deemed necessary even if it is not time for their regularly scheduled hospice visit. When patients are referred to outpatient hospice care, they are provided with visits from a nurse who will assess the patient’s pain level and stage of illness. Other times, a physician or chaplain will make these assessments. Any approved patient is also provided with a medical social worker who will help plan for the patient’s future and will answer any questions or concerns the family may have. All of these services are provided to patients for as long as medically appropriate.
Hospice care in San Fernando, CA is a form of palliative care that focuses on the palliation of symptoms and pain. Hospice care can be provided to anyone with a life-limiting illness and is designed to comfort the patient, not prolong life. When patients are referred to hospice they are seen by physicians and a hospice team who assess their pain level as well as stage of illness. The patient will then be assigned an individual case manager who will help plan for their future needs, answer questions or provide support when needed. The goals for hospice patients are comfort and peacefulness rather than aggressive treatment which may increase length of life but not quality. The goal for family members is understanding their loved ones wishes and needs at the end of life stage.