Old people laughing togetherThe upcoming death of a loved one is a sensitive topic, and if you’re considering hospice care, you’re taking a step towards comforting your loved one in his or her life’s last stage.

If you want to know more about this service, it’s best to consult a hospice care facility. Some questions go beyond the medical and technical, however. To put your mind at ease, here are answers to some of the questions you may have about hospice care that you’re afraid to ask.

Q: Our friends and family have recommended hospice care. Why hasn’t our doctor suggested it?

A: Some people see hospice care as giving up, which isn’t always true. Whether they believe the same or they just don’t want to agitate the family, some doctors may not want to suggest hospice care first. If you’re out of options, you may have to start the conversation with your loved one’s doctor.

Q: Can hospice care extend my loved one’s life?

A: Hospice care focuses more on providing a comfortable final stage. While patients can live beyond the expected lifespan, hospice care deals with fighting the pain of the illness rather than the illness itself.

Q: What is palliative care and can I opt for that instead?

A: Hospice care only manages the pain while palliative care treats the illness and the pain. Though many hospice homes, such as the Center for Hospice Care in Indiana, offer palliative care, treatment can be on a case-by-case basis and only for patients with more than a six-month life expectancy.

Q: Does my insurance cover hospice care?

A: While Medicare and Medicaid can help with the costs and regulations in some states, it’s best to check with your insurance provider because not all private insurance companies cover hospice care. Look for hospice homes that do not refuse patients who are unable to pay, and which offer feasible payment plans.

Most importantly, hospice care can provide closure for both the patient and the patient’s family and help both parties come to terms with their loved one’s passing. It’s a difficult topic to discuss, but talking about the more emotional parts of hospice care can help you decide if it is what your loved one needs.

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