Hospice care is appropriate for individuals facing a life-limiting illness and a prognosis of six months or less, if the disease follows its normal course. Hospice services are available for patients of any age when it has been determined that curative treatment is no longer an option and the objective becomes an issue of pain and symptom management and quality-of-life. Each situation is unique, but many patients receive hospice care in the comfort and familiar surroundings of their own homes or wherever they reside.
Upon admission to hospice, an interdisciplinary team of professionals all work together with the patient and the family to customize the patient’s plan of care. The plan of care addresses all aspects of the patient’s terminal illness, from the patient and family’s physical, emotional and spiritual care to the provision of medications, medical equipment/supplies, and bereavement support.
How to Begin Hospice
The earlier a patient begins hospice, the greater the benefits they receive from it. Once a patient is diagnosed, it is important to meet with the primary care physician as soon as possible to discuss a referral to hospice. The doctor may have already recommended this, but if not, it is appropriate for the patient and his or her family to request admission to hospice care.
You may also contact Klamath Hospice directly and we will contact the physician to certify the patient’s medical condition and arrange for hospice care to begin.
Now that I have hospice…
Admission to hospice consists of two components: the explanation of hospice services and signing of the initial paperwork. A plan of care will be established by all members of the interdisciplinary team, and will be shared with the primary care physician. A visitation schedule will be determined by the team at this time, in coordination with the patient’s and family’s needs.
The patient will know that hospice is available for response 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hospice does not take over care giving for the patient, but is ready to respond to the questions or to emergency situations relating to the disease process of the patient anytime 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The patient is encouraged to pursue whatever quality of life is important at this time. Our team members work with the family members to help them understand the disease process, the emotions, the pain and frustration they are experiencing.