We all celebrate July 4th as Independence Day. It’s a time we consider our freedom and how we came into our independence; how that came to be is a powerful story. Many of us believe that ‘freedom’ is the essence of our ability to make our own choices. It’s as emotional and inspiring today as it was when our forefathers drafted our founding documents. In our everyday lives we embrace our ability to choose for ourselves at every junction; we choose who we marry, where we work, where and how we retire, and how we live. While our choices regarding our own healthcare are equally as important as many of these other choices, many of us don’t stop to consider that the options surrounding our healthcare are ours to choose. We have a right to choose for ourselves. Those choices are particularly important near the end of life, when healthcare decisions should be all about what matters most to us. Understand your right to choose this Medicare Benefit – your right to choose your hospice provider.
Hospice of South Texas believes it’s important for patients and their loved ones to understand their basic rights; we all have the freedom to make our own choices and decisions about our end of life care, particularly hospice care. Many people simply don’t know that Medicare beneficiaries with a life-limiting illness have the right to decide how they receive end-of-life care. Learn about your right to choose your hospice provider.
Hospice care focuses on improving the quality of life by easing pain and symptoms. Often, curative care reaches a point where it is no longer effective. That’s when hospice is often considered, when a patient, their loved ones and their physician decide that the focus should shift away from aggressive treatment to quality of life. When anyone wishes to forego further curative treatment in favor of care designed to ease pain and other distressing symptoms, hospice is their choice. Anyone coping with a life-limiting illness can choose hospice care when they wish, and it’s important to be aware of your rights.
YOUR RIGHTS AND HOSPICE CARE
IT’S YOUR RIGHT TO DECIDE: Who you would prefer to be your hospice provider is 100% your choice. It’s not up to the hospital, your nursing home, your doctor, or your insurance plan.
BE SPECIFIC: It’s important to be specific. If you are in the hospital, even if they give you a list to choose from, it’s still your choice. You have to ask for your hospice provider of choice by name.
YOU CAN ASK FOR HOSPICE CARE: You don’t have to wait for your doctor to suggest hospice, all you have to do is ask. Your physician will need to sign an order for care, but you can request hospice care. If you contact Hospice of South Texas we can contact your physician to help determine if hospice is the right choice.
YOU CAN REFER LOVED ONES: If you feel your loved one needs hospice care you can contact Hospice of South Texas. We will contact their physician to help determine if hospice care is the right choice.
CARE WHEREVER YOU ARE: Our team provides an extra layer of support and expert care to the care they are receiving wherever they already are. Even if your loved one is in a nursing home you have the right to choose Hospice of South Texas.
While these decisions may seem overwhelming to both the patient and their family, Hospice of South Texas respects your loved one’s rights as an individual and their choices concerning end of life care.
When a loved one is seriously ill it’s hard to know where to turn or when to ask for help. We have trouble deciding when it’s time to consider getting help. Our blog, ‘Could Your Parent or Elderly Loved One Benefit From Hospice? Warning Signs That It’s Time,’ lists warning signs to look for. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily caregiving of your loved one; care is available sooner than you think. Our team is trained to care for serious illnesses like COPD, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and liver disease. Real support is available, the burden and stress of illness may feel overwhelming now, but it doesn’t have to. It’s your right to get the kind of help you really need.
Hospice of South Texas focuses on improving comfort, easing pain, managing symptoms and improving the quality of life for those living with serious illness. We’re here for you, wherever you are, whenever you need us. If you need serious support for serious illness or if you’re caring for someone that does, please contact Hospice of South Texas.