When it becomes time to begin searching for a hospice, people often find that they aren’t sure where to begin looking or don’t know which questions to consider. With a decision so serious, choosing the right place is important. For those who aren’t sure where to begin, keep these 7 key questions in mind when you begin interviewing providers.
1. How long has this hospice been operating?
Although the length of time in operation might not be a direct representation of how well a hospice operates, you might want to keep in mind that some providers open and shut quickly. Choosing a place that has been open for a good length of time is something you may wish to consider.
2. Does your hospice provide continuous care for its patients?
Continuous care is when a patient is looked after 24/7 because he/she is actively dying. Some medical experts have noted that not all hospices provide this service, which is unnerving to some families, as they feel more comfortable with a clinician there for support in the final hours. If having a nurse, doctor, or volunteer with the patient in their last hours is important to you, then this question is an important one that you might want to pay attention to.
3. Does your hospice have inpatient facilities just in case a patient experiences complications?
In the event that a patient begins to have complications that won’t allow them to continue care in their home, it might be a good idea to ask if the provider has either a facility or rented beds in the hospital for such cases.
4. Is this hospice accredited or have a state license?
Depending on the state, accreditation may not be required. Some medical experts believe that patients might feel safer choosing a provider that has been checked hospice care service out by a third party or carries a state license.
5. How quickly does the hospice respond to an emergency?
In the event of an emergency, you’ll want to know that a clinician, when needed, will see you or your loved one. Among the questions you may wish to ask, learning about the average response time may be one you may wish to consider.
6. Does your hospice offer respite care?
Respite care is offered by some providers as a way to offer the patient’s family or main caregiver a break of up to five days. Taking care of a family member can become tiring, and some patients may wish to find out if their provider offers respite care.
7. Can I be cared for by the hospice if I live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility?
Patients or family members of patients might need to know whether or not a provider will offer care if a patient doesn’t live at home. Although most providers do, it’s best to ask and be sure.