At Princeton Health Care Center, we are proud of the long-term care and therapeutic services we offer on an inpatient and outpatient basis to many senior citizens around Princeton, WV. However, we recognize that a time often comes when treatment options have been exhausted. Our hospice programs allow patients to exit this life exactly as they lived it: with meaning and dignity, surrounded by love.
Hospice Care Explained
The most concise definition of hospice care we’ve seen comes from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, which states, “Hospice focuses on caring, not curing.” It is offered as part of end-of-life care in the event of a terminal illness or grave, life-limiting injury when a doctor’s reasonable expectation is that a patient has six months or less to live given normal treatment.
The approach to hospice care is often multi-disciplinary. The patient’s primary care physician is involved, but so too are social workers, therapists, clergy, and trained volunteers.
Every effort is taken to ensure that the needs of a patient’s loved ones are also considered. Therefore, in addition to providing medical care and emotional support to the patient, hospice is also concerned with coaching for the family during care, as well as bereavement care afterward.
Hospice Care Versus Palliative Care
The terms “hospice care” and “palliative care” are often used, or thought of, interchangeably. It’s true that there is some overlap between the two, and hospice care certainly has a palliative component to it. However, there are some important differences as well.
Palliative care seeks to provide relief from the symptoms of a serious or terminal illness. This includes pain management for the physical pain that often accompanies serious illness, but also includes the easing of emotional distress and anxiety.
Because of this, palliative care should be viewed as a complementary therapy. It’s equally capable of complementing curative therapies (like oncology, physical therapy, or rehabilitation) as it can ease the final transition as part of hospice care.
Qualifying, and Paying, for Hospice Care
Hospice care most often begins with a referral from the patient’s primary care physician. That referral, certifying that the patient’s condition will be fatal within six months if it follows its normal course, must be certified by a second physician. Those referrals are important because they help to ensure that costs — including drugs and medications, medical equipment, social services, and grief support — will be covered 100 percent by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance.
Hospice Care at Princeton Health Care Center
Princeton Health Care Center is proud to offer hospice care to Mercer County, WV and the surrounding area. This care is provided on-site through two area hospices with which we are affiliated, Hospice Compassus and Hospice Amedysis. While most hospice care is provided in-home by a family member, we offer hospice care on-site to ensure a patient’s last days are lived with meaning and dignity.
The best time to discuss hospice care is long before it’s needed. That conversation won’t be an easy one, but the advantage is that you will be able to discuss your loved one’s wishes to ensure that they are honored. Knowing the thing they desire and the things they are adamantly opposed to ahead of time will ease the process in the long run. If the time has passed for that conversation, speak to us. We provide hospice care in a setting that provides a living expression of love, warmth, and compassion.