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Hospice is likely to be the most important health care decision we make. by Joy Loverde

Hospice: I had no idea | Eldercare Blog: Families have a choice in hospice programs.
Hospice is likely to be the most important health care decision we make. For a long time, we could assume that every hospice provided high-quality care. That assumption is no longer safe. Families must shop around. To start the process, request a home visit for patient assessment and a customized Q & A. How receptive a hospice is to the following questions is an indicator of the quality of their program:

What do others say about your organization? Get references.
How long has the hospice been in operation?
Is the hospice Medicare-certified?
What is the expectation regarding the family’s role in caregiving?
Is there anything currently being done for the patient that you would not do?
(Make a list of specific family needs.) How will you address these needs?
What extra services are offered?
Is your availability 24/7?
How rapid is crisis response?
Do patients ever get transferred to inpatient care? Under what circumstances? And where do they go?
Is family respite care available? What kind? Under what circumstances?
Are your MDs/RNs certified in palliative care?
How are family complaints handled?
What kind of emotional support do you provide – now and after?