Decisions about end-of-life care are deeply personal and are based on your values and beliefs. Talking with loved ones, friends and healthcare providers is an important step toward making your wishes known in case you cannot make decisions for yourself. Whether you want to talk about your own choices for end-of-life care or want to ask a family member or friend about their preferences, these conversations can help relieve loved ones and healthcare providers of the need to guess what the patient would want if a crisis occurs.
While it can be difficult to bring up these topics, the conversations can be an invaluable gift to those you love and those providing medical care. This information provided by the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization is divided into three parts:
In any of these cases, it is impossible to foresee every type of circumstance or illness; therefore, it is essential to think in general terms while making sure loved ones and care providers are aware of one’s priorities. Also, while having these conversations, consider discussing advance care plans, which enable one to plan for and express end-of-life wishes in the event that the patient is unable to communicate.
Finally, make sure to reassess these decisions over time with follow-up discussions. It is important to review these issues and decisions, as personal health or circumstances in life might change – along with one’s views and choices.
Perhaps the biggest misunderstanding – or fear – about hospice care is that it means giving up hope. It does not. Hospice care actually enables patients to live their last days to the fullest, with purpose, dignity, grace and support. It is about bringing the best in physical, emotional and spiritual care to those who are facing the challenges of a life-limiting illness, as well as their families. At Arkansas Hospice, that is our mission. As a nonprofit organization, we also believe that fear of costs should never prevent a person from having access to hospice care, and our patients are cared for regardless of ability to pay.
It is possible that a patient will improve, resulting in discharge from hospice services. Or the patient or caregiver might decide to stop hospice care to seek aggressive, curative treatment. Hospice services can easily be resumed, if needed, at a later time.
Hospice services are covered by Medicare or Medicaid, private insurance, private pay or through charitable care. This care is provided to all in need of our services regardless of age, sex, race, creed, marital status, sexual orientation, color, national origin, religion, citizenship status, veteran status, illness, handicap, disability or ability to pay.
If you would like to learn more about how you can help meet the needs of Arkansas Hospice patients and families that are not met by traditional means, please visit the Arkansas Hospice Foundation page. CLICK HERE.
I have nothing but the best things to say about Arkansas Hospice. They were so good to my Dad before he passed away. The love and care, compassion they showed to my dad was priceless. The nurses and CNA’s that took care of my Dad are the best and always be the best.
We are just starting our dad’s final journey and Arkansas Hospice has been a blessing. They’ve taught us so much already and provide as much support and comfort to the family as they do my dad. I’m grateful they’ll be walking this final path with us.
I love Arkansas Hospice. Every single employee has a heart of gold and takes the best care of their patients.
I would not hesitate at all to recommend this provider for anyone who is considering hospice care for themselves or for a loved one.
Arkansas Hospice took care of my Mom before she passed. It was my first experience with any hospice and I was amazed. They took such great care of her. They treated her with dignity and respect until the end.
So many thanks for the way your staff treated my very dear friend, Jeff, as he raced toward the finish line. Words can’t express my gratitude for helping us to care for him and keep him comfortable. Top-notch professionalism and immediate responses to requests for assistance.