70% of Americans die due to a chronic or terminal illness. For the family, the grief process begins with the diagnosis and can often last an extended time. Hospice is a service (not a place as is often thought) designed to provide supportive care to people diagnosed with a terminal illness. It is the model of high-quality, compassionate care that helps patients and their families live as fully as possible.
Common misconceptions and supportive facts about hospice:
Hospice cares for more than 1.65 million Americans, and their families, every year—a number that continues to grow.
In most cases, care is provided in the patient's home – it may also be provided in freestanding hospice centers, hospitals, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities.
The focus in on caring, not curing. Hospice utilizes an interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals and trained volunteers that address symptom control, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient's needs and wishes.
A Gallup poll reveals that close to nine in ten adults (88%) would prefer to die in their homes, free of pain, surrounded by family and loved ones: Hospice works to make this happen.
Lastly, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization research shows that 94% of families who had a loved one cared for by hospice rated the care as very good to excellent.
For essentially everything you need to know about hospice, including qualifications for insurance coverage of care, a long list of FAQ’s, helpful information on choosing a hospice, and more, we highly encourage you to visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization website below: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)
At Hopkins Investment Management, we want to be a guiding and helpful resource during your life transitions, in both the financial and nonfinancial aspects. If terminal illness does come into your life, quality hospice care combined with a dedicated bereavement support service can be the key to making it through such a difficult period. By researching and compiling helpful resources regarding hospice and bereavement support, including some local recommendations in the areas where Hopkins Investment Management is focused, we hope to support our clients and their families, and make that tough transition through a loved one’s passing as easy on them as possible. In addition, we see our role being a vital one as we support families as they face financial decisions and concerns.
Resources: Finding Quality Hospice Care
It is not easy finding care that you trust to be reliable. When searching for hospice, there is a great resource out there called Consumer Guide to Hospice that provides information about all Medicare participating hospice services around the country. It allows consumers the benefit of comparing different hospices on several important measures such as age, size, and whether or not the hospice is accredited. Experts say there is a correlation between these types of measures and the quality of care you can expect to receive from the hospice service. To fully interpret the information provided by the guide, we recommend first reading an expert’s review on the blog at Pallimed.org (Hospice and Palliative Medicine):
Upon reading the author’s review, it should be easier to understand the information and measures given by the guide itself. Consumer Guide to Hospice
Some additional helpful resources regarding hospice and the questions that go along with it include the following:
Bereavement Support – Helping to Cope with Grief
Whether it begins with a terminal diagnosis or after the sudden, unexpected loss of a loved one, bereavement and the grieving that comes with it is one of those things that everyone faces at some point in their lives. To aid with this difficult life transition are numerous bereavement support services meant to care for and guide families as they cope with the emotional impact. Local hospices, hospitals, community agencies, churches and volunteer support groups may provide multiple bereavement support options, such as grief counselors and therapists, support groups, or camps and workshops. In addition to the local bereavement support options we suggest, we encourage those who belong to a specific church or other community organization to reach out and ask about what bereavement support they may be able to offer or refer to you.
People are different and cope with grief in their own way. Therefore, not everyone will necessarily need or want additional bereavement support. However, one common piece of advice gained from most grief-related resources is not to grieve alone. Perhaps all you need is the comfort and presence of loved ones and friends, while others may require professional help or group support from others to aid with the healing process. Some may even experience “complicated” or “acute grief”, which can be described as being stuck in an intense state of mourning; a point where it becomes important to seek help immediately (check out this resource if concerned about yourself or a loved one Signs and Symptoms of Complicated Grief).
Furthermore, we encourage anyone dealing with grief due to bereavement to visit the following resource, as it provides great insight and advice for coping with grief, as well as signs that it may be necessary to seek professional bereavement support from a licensed counselor/therapist.
This last great resource from herbwalker.com is an online grief support service committed to helping anyone heal from grief. You can access online counseling services, join in group grief support, or watch their interactive videos, anytime: 24/7.