Patient and Nurse

HOSPICE & PALLIATIVE CARE SERVICES

Palliative Care

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness, such as cancer or heart failure. Patients in palliative care may receive medical care for their symptoms, or palliative care, along with treatment intended to cure their serious illness. Palliative care is meant to enhance a person's current care by focusing on quality of life for them and their family.

Who can benefit from palliative care?

 

Palliative care is a resource for anyone living with a serious illness, such as heart failurechronic obstructive pulmonary diseasecancerdementiaParkinson's disease, and many others.  Palliative care can be helpful at any stage of illness and is best provided soon after a person is diagnosed.

 

Hospice Care

In addition to improving quality of life and helping with symptoms, palliative care can help patients understand their choices for medical treatment. The organized services available through palliative care may be helpful to any older person having a lot of general discomfort and disability very late in life.

Increasingly, people are choosing hospice care at the end of life. Hospice care is a special kind of care that focuses on the quality of life for people and their caregivers who are experiencing an advanced, life-limiting illness. Hospice care focuses on the care, comfort, and quality of life of a person with a serious illness who is approaching the end of life.  

 

At Ameristars we provide compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible.  We have a team of people with special skills — among them nurses, doctors, social workers, spiritual advisors, and trained volunteers to assist during this crucial time.  Our team members work together to ensure your or your loved one, caregiver, and/or family members get the medical, emotional, and spiritual support needed. A member of our hospice team will visit regularly, and someone is usually always available by phone — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

The cost of hospice may be covered by Medicare and other insurance companies. 

What are the benefits of hospice care?

Families of people who received care through a hospice program are more satisfied with end-of-life care than those who did not have hospice services. Also, hospice recipients are more likely to have their pain controlled and less likely to undergo tests or be given medicines they don't need, compared with people who don't use hospice care.

 Hospice Services include:

Depending on the terminal illness and related conditions, hospice care services generally include:

  • Physician services

  • Skilled nursing

  • Medical equipment

  • Medical supplies

  • Prescription drugs for symptom control or pain relief

  • Certified nursing aides

  • Therapy services

  • Social work services

  • Grief and loss counseling for the patient and family

  • Respite care

Respite care may be appropriate when:

  • The caregiver is physically and emotionally exhausted from caring for the patient on a 24/7 basis and requires a short break from this duty

  • The caregiver would like to attend a family event, such as a wedding, graduation, vacation, or other event

  • The caregiver is ill and needs a break from patient care to recover

 

What is Not Covered?

Not all services provided to patients enrolled in hospice care are covered by the Medicare Hospice. They will not pay for:

  • Treatment intended to cure a terminal illness or treatment unrelated to the hospice-related illness

  • Prescription drugs to cure the illness or illnesses unrelated to the hospice-related illness

  • Room and board in a nursing home or hospice residential facility

  • Care in an emergency room, inpatient facility, or ambulance transportation, unless it is either arranged by the hospice team or is unrelated to the terminal illness