Do you know your rights when it comes to who can choose your hospice care provider? As a highly recommended, certified hospice care provider we think it’s important that you understand your rights as a consumer.
5 Tips to Choosing a Hospice Care Provider
Our certified social workers are at the top of their game and always learning more when it comes to the needs and rights of those who need hospice care. We focus on both the patient and their family. Our care goes beyond hospice care; continuing with bereavement support and monthly group support groups.
5 tips that may help you choose a hospice care provider:
- It’s YOUR Decision – The decision of who to choose for hospice care services is completely up to the patient and/or their family (or Medical POA). Your doctor may suggest a provider; but, remember there may be times when doctors are closely associated with the suggested provider.
- Advanced Directives – This guide by Next Step in Care offers some insight in creating advanced directives. It is very important for everyone at every age to create advanced directives about what you want if you cannot speak for yourself. Be sure all paperwork is given to the proper people; as suggested in this AARP article.
- Word of Mouth – If you know friends and family who have had to utilize hospice services ask them who they used and how they felt about the treatment of their loved one. Word of mouth is one resource to consider when comparing services. Cost may not always be where you should focus.
- Know Your State Laws – Making medical decisions when you are not able to speak for yourself is not handled the same in every state. This is one very big reason for making sure that you not only have a professional help you get your paperwork together, but understand that what you have written down may not transfer from one state to another.
- Ask Questions & Get it in Writing – It’s important to ask questions so that you understand what will be happening from the onset of care through aftercare. You should get a basic outline of hospice care will include, what other professionals may be required to visit for non-hospice related care, if there are certain things you will need to be trained to do for your loved one, and what medications are being provided & why.
These tips & guidelines may not apply for your particular needs or work for all hospice care providers. It’s important to ask for professional guidance.
Planning Ahead – Before you have to choose hospice care
Don’t wait to get your affairs in order. The purpose of planning ahead is to have your choices known before you ever need them to be known & making sure it’s all legal.
4 FALSE ideas associated with end of life planning include:
- False: You don’t have enough financially to worry about ‘estate’ planning.
It’s not simply about your financial worth; your medical choices, who can make choices for you & so much more is involved! You absolutely want to be in charge of your own affairs throughout your life; including being able to choose your hospice care.
- False: Your friends and family know what you want in case you can’t speak for yourself.
If it’s not written down it’s not “known,” can be disputed (sometimes by people you may not want having a say in your life decisions), and next of kin is not always the person who has the right to make decisions on your behalf in many states.
- False : There’s plenty of time to take care of ‘end of life decisions & paperwork.’
The truth is nobody knows what the future holds. Life changing moments happen to people of all ages, from infancy through centenarians; making medical and life decisions the most important paperwork you should get done. The sooner you get your directives created the better.
- False: I can’t afford legal services.
It is not always necessary to use legal services; but you do want to have knowledgeable professionals guiding you. One resource that provides a number of other resources that are free are inexpensive to use is The Mayo Clinic Consumer Page. Take note of the list of state specific forms for download.
Advanced directives are an important part of life. Making sure your wishes are followed in any given situation is important to the quality of life you want to live.
Are You Ready to Plan?
If you are ready to plan ahead contact us here at Above & Beyond with questions about hospice care. We can tell you more about our hospice care services to help you choose your hospice care from a provider you trust.
No matter what your age you are, understand that as an adult you have the right to make your wishes and desires known if you ever face a time when you cannot speak for yourself. We want you to fully understand that it’s up to you to choose your hospice care provider and think it’s imperative that you understand how to live life on your terms.
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