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FAQ

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WHAT IS A HOSPICE?

Hospice is a type of specialized care for patients who are nearing the end of their life. Hospice helps patients who are terminally ill live a comfortable life. Patients usually enter hospice during the last few months or weeks of their life. Hospice is personal and family-centered. Hospice provides many kinds of support through a team of highly trained professionals. The goal of hospice is to improve the quality of life and to meet the specific needs of individual patients.

La Bella Vita is an outpatient hospice facility. Hospice care is unique to each patient and includes a wide spectrum of care to manage the patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Hospice care focuses on the individual as a whole. Depending on the needs of the patient, hospice includes doctor and nurse care, prescription medicine, therapy, medical equipment, and supplies related to the patient’s condition. Hospice strives to ensure the comfort and well being of every patient, while making the most out of their remaining time.

Hospice Care Provider

WHO PAYS FOR A HOSPICE?

La Bella Vita Hospice is covered by most medical insurances, including Medicare. However, hospice care can sometimes includes a small, out of pocket fee. If you have Medicare, Medicare pays the hospice provider for your care without a deductible. Patients will pay:

- Your monthly Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) premiums.

-A copayment of up to $5 per prescription for outpatient prescription drugs for pain and symptom management. In the rare case your drug isn’t covered by the hospice benefit, your hospice provider should contact your Medicare drug plan (if you have one) to see if it’s covered by Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).

-5% of the Medicare-approved amount for inpatient respite care. The list of accepted insurance providers are outlined on our insurance page. Patients without insurance are sometime eligible to receive financial assistance for hospice care.

WHO CAN RECEIVE HOSPICE CARE?

Hospice is for anyone with a limited life-expectancy. La Bella Vita serves patients in the Los Angeles and Ventura area. Patients eligible for hospice usually have a life expectancy of six months or less. Medicare requires that patients meet specific guidelines before receiving hospice. These requirements include:

-Documented life-limiting prognosis by a certified physician(s), which means a life expectancy of six months, if the disease follows a normal course
-The patient elects to receive comfort (palliative) care, instead of seeking aggressive treatment.

Many of the patients who receive hospice care are elderly. La Bella Vita Hospice Care provides elderly patients with the familiarity of their home, which reduces falls and injuries and creates a more comfortable environment.  If you or a loved one is in need of hospice care in LA County, Northridge, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks, Ventura County, Antelope Valley, or surrounding areas, contact us.

Will my loved one still be in pain?

While some conditions can overwhelm even the best medical treatment, one of the primary goals of hospice care is easing pain. We will do everything in our power to alleviate your loved one’s physical pain, and even emotional and spiritual pain as well, with the help of counselors and spiritual caregivers. Hospice care has a high success rate of easing patients’ pain.

Will my loved one be so drugged they won’t be able to respond?

Families often worry that a loved one may be placed on so many medications that they are unable to speak or comprehend their surroundings. Though this can happen, it’s the goal of a hospice medical team to avoid it. Hospice doctors and nurses are skilled at finding the right medications and dosages to keep patients comfortable without impairing their alertness.

What if my loved one is unable to give consent for hospice care?

Sometimes, a patient’s condition has become so severe that they are not in control of their faculties, physical and mental, and in no condition to give consent. In this case, consent can only be given by a person with legal authority over the patient’s healthcare decisions, such as a spouse or anyone possessing power of attorney.

Hospice Care Provider FAQ

What do I do if I have an issue with my loved one’s care?

Your opinion matters too. If you believe an aspect of your loved one’s care is being conducted improperly, it is your full right to speak up, especially if your loved one is in no condition to advocate for themselves. Though medical decisions should be made by trained professionals, you may ask for changes to your loved one’s treatment plan, including frequency of visits, type of care, or request a different caregiver. Such requests will have to be weighed carefully, depending on the patient’s preferences and medical needs.

Should I put a child in hospice? Is it only for the elderly?

Hospice care is designed for anyone with a terminal disease, whether it is a young child or an elderly parent or grandparent. As the parent, you are the individual in charge of the hospice treatment plan. The hospice care team always revolve around the parent, while they continue to inform the parent the things that needs to be addressed and done moving forward with hospice treatment.

End of Life Care: What is It?

This care focuses on comforting the patient rather than curing the patient; it accepts the fact that the patient is declining and that the best use of time and resources going forward is to focus 100% on managing pain and maintaining comfort for as long as possible.

Comfort Care: What is It?

Comfort care focuses on relieving pain and symptoms rather than trying to slow the disease. It is rooted in acceptance of upcoming terminal illness and ensuring that the patient (and family)’s spiritual, emotional, and physical needs are addressed as much as humanly possible during this time.

Palliative Care – What is It?

It is supportive care that focuses on mitigation of symptoms and physical/mental stresses that takes place at any stage of the end-of-life care stage.

It can be provided alongside curative care. The specialists work to alleviate pain, mitigate symptoms, help out with hard treatment decisions, set up care with any other medical professionals, and craft a plan based on the patient’s needs.

It can be provided at a myriad of settings, whether it be home, a nursing home, etc. The teams often comprise the patient, caregivers, a doctor, pharmacist, nurse, dietitian, a therapist(s), a religious worker(s), a social worker(s), and any other necessary professionals for the individual case.

Respite Care – What is It?

Respite care is when duty of the loved one(s) on the hospice team are relived of their duties so they are able to address whatever things they need to take care of during their time working with the hospice, whether it be work, managing their own stress, etc.

It’s mandated by Medicare for anyone who need a break up to five consecutive days; it then puts the hospice patient in a location that provides 24/7 care (ex// a nursing home) without needing to satisfy the necessary conditions for regular inpatient treatment/symptom management.

Hospice Caregiver

What happens if the patient’s condition improves while in hospice?

Hospices are required to discharge a patient whose condition is not terminal any longer. The patient’s condition often improves in hospice care, as focus shifts to pain management. In that case, they will be discharged from the hospice care completely. Patients are also allowed to leave hospice care anytime they want, and re-enter anytime they want, provided their primary doctor approve their eligibility.

Advance Directive: What is It?

It’s a legal document that allows you to direct, in advance, the type of care you’ll receive in the future. There are instances in the future where individuals will not be able to speak for themselves at all. The advance directive assures, ahead of time, that there will not be any issue for the patient in regards to this, as it directs their care in instances where they are not able to speak for themselves due to the medical issue.  

Advance directives are different per state and take different form. They could be referred to as Power of Attorney for Healthcare, Medical Power of Attorney, Healthcare Proxy, etc. There are other names for it as well.

When a Loved One Dies in Hospice: What Happens Next?

This is the toughest moment of your time as part of the hospice team: the end of the patient’s life. A member of the team will work with you and talk to you regarding this and regarding steps moving forward.

Typically, someone in the team is at the side of the patient bed at the time of death and has the ability to explain to you the death stages, prepare the needed phone calls, make preparations for the body, and give much-needed emotional support during this difficult time. They will help make plans for the removal of the body, whether at the current time or a later time. If a member of the hospice team is not available at time of death, one will be brought on and made available to assist the family during this time, so funeral plans can be made for the days going forward.

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La Bella Vita Hospice, Inc. provides home hospice care for patients in Los Angeles, Arleta, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Burbank, Chatsworth, Encino, Glendale, Glenoaks, Granada HIlls, Hansen Hills, Hidden Hills, La Crescenta, Lake Balboa, Lake View Terrace, MIssion Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Porter Ranch, Reseda, San Fernando, Shadow Hills, Sherman Oaks, Sun Valley, Sunland, Studio City, Sylmar, Tarzana, Toluca Lake, Toluca Terrace, Tujunga, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Vergudo, West Hills, West Toluca Lake, Winnetka, Woodland Hills, Ventura County, Antelope Valley, and the San Fernando Valley. © Copyright 2020 - All Rights Reserved.  
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