Hospice is not an admission of defeat, but an affirmation of life.
Hospice care at Bethlen Communities is about watching for the miracles that take place throughout the last stages of life. It is about providing top level care that focuses on the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our patients and their families. Above all else, our Hospice care is centered upon doing…doing whatever it takes to care for those who wish for their remaining weeks of life to be filled with comfort, peace, and dignity.
Why Choose Hospice
A qualified hospice team assists those in the final stage of life and their families to manage the patient’s care, understand and cope with the symptoms and signs associated with the stages of dying, and provide emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes.
Hospice team members help patients and their families to realize options and make choices regarding remaining at home, pain management, and having important conversations with beloved family and friends. Hospice caregivers come to the patient wherever the patient chooses to live. Additionally, patients can take ease knowing their family will have the counsel of the hospice provider following the patient’s passing.
At the heart of hospice is the belief that each person has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that family members will receive the necessary support to allow those dying to do so in peace.
Qualifying for Hospice
Hospice care is most often paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. As directed by the payment source(s), hospice eligibility is generally based on two requirements:
1) The patient’s illness is considered terminal; and,
2) The physician expects if the illness runs its normal course, the patient will live six months or less.
Since it can be hard for doctors to know with certainty how long a person will live, some patients remain on hospice longer than six months when the need continues. For similar reasons, not everyone who begins hospice dies. If a patient’s condition changes for the better, hospice may no longer be necessary.
In association with Medicare, Medicaid and other insurances, all medications related to hospice diagnoses are covered under the hospice benefit. Medical equipment and supplies are covered as well at one hundred percent.
Hospice services through Bethlen Communities encompass medical direction through a licensed physician, nursing care, social services and pastoral support, and comfort care inclusive of pain and symptom management. All services are available to benefit both patients and their loved ones. Hospice care can help family members manage the practical details and emotional challenges of caring for a dying loved one. Hospice staff coach family members in how to provide needed care while volunteer support such as preparing meals or running errands is also offered.
Bethlen’s licensed nurses visit and provide care for hospice patients in the patient’s home or in an alternate care facility such as a hospital or personal care center. Although licensed nurse visits typically occur two or more times each week, the nurse is available for emergency services 24 hours a day. Hospice Nursing Assistant services are provided to help clients with Activities of Daily Living and comfort, and are offered with non-pharmacologic intervention. Respite care is also available allowing family caregivers a needed break knowing that their loved one is in the hands of an experienced and caring professional.
Every Hospice Client receives Social Service and Pastoral support throughout, treating the physical together with the emotional aspects of end of life care.
Bethlen’s Hospice providers are about:
- Holding the hand of a daughter holding the hand of her mother.
- Running for a hot fudge sundae from our local creamery for a 102 year old patient who had a craving for chocolate.
- Witnessing the joy of a woman enjoying her first ever whirlpool bath while in respite care at our nursing home.
- Encouraging the five siblings to say “final words” to their mother who miraculously has opened her eyes to see her children one final time.
- Leading a prayer for a family of thirty, who have filled the loved ones' room with stories and laughter.
Difficult Decisions Series:
One Family's Story Following Bethlen Hospice Care
My Mom was always there for us. She was the one who made sure we had what we needed, when we needed it. From grade school to high school and through college, she was always there to make things work. When Mom was diagnosed with cancer, we hoped for the best and knew she would be strong. Boy, was she strong. She fought as hard as she could for a long time. And, we all tried to be there for her this time. Finally, we realized that no matter how hard we tried, we could not change things. And, we could not give her the care she deserved. We fought the decision for a while but then we decided as a family to move her to hospice care. I still remember how the whole family felt all sorts of emotions: Sadness, Guilt, Despair. But, hospice proved to be the right decision, not only for Mom, but for the entire family and Mom’s lifelong friends. The hospice team cared about everyone: Mom, Dad, me, my sister, the grandkids, and even Mom’s friends. They helped us with our emotions and especially our guilt. We realized that we were doing the right thing. We were there for her like she had always been there for us.