WHEN SHOULD A DECISION MADE TO ENTER INTO HOSPICE PROGRAM? WHO SHOULD MAKE THE DECISION?
All patients are eligible for hospice care when they have been diagnosed with terminal illness with a prognosis of 6 months or less. During that time patient comfort care and the symptom management are the primary focus. Treatment to cure is no longer the patient's choice or option. After discussion with patient's primary care physician, the decision can be made about appropriate medical care. Hospice agency should be call immediately when the patient has been diagnosed with life limiting illness within 6 months of period. Its appropriate to discuss all of the patient's care options, including hospice and allow the patient to have an active voice if possible. If patient is incapable (for example dementia) of understanding the treatment options, family or the authorized person should make the decision on behalf of patient.
HOW DOES HOSPICE MANAGES PAIN AND SYMPTOMS?
Hospice nurses and doctors are up to date on the latest medications and devices for pain and symptom relief. Physical pain and other symptoms can usually be controlled in the patient's home. If a symptom (i.e. pain, nausea or vomiting, or difficulty breathing) becomes a problem, the hospice nurse can be reached 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Hospice medical directors are always available to adjust medications. There have been great advances in pain and symptom control in the past few years. Most symptoms can be controlled without the use of injections or IV medication. Hospice of Sunrise Hospice in Silicon Valley, the nurses assess each patients' pain and symptom control at each visit. Hospice medical directors are always available to adjust medications. We also believe that emotional and spiritual pain are just as real and in need of attention as physical pain. Our team of professionals are trained to offer interventions for many end of life challenges. In addition, our team of complementary care providers can help with mental or emotional pain through the use of massage, art therapy, music and reflexology.
WHERE DO WE PROVIDE HOSPICE CARE?
Sunrise Hospice Care provides hospice care service that is best suited to the patient's need and the family. The most common setting is patient's home. In addition Sunrise Hospice care is providing service in the nursing homes, assisted living, skilled nursing facilities and hospitals according the patient care needs.
WILL MEDICATIONS PREVENT THE PATIENT FROM BEING ABLE TO TALK OR KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Usually not. It is the goal of hospice to have the patient as pain free and alert as possible. By constantly consulting with the patient and family caregivers, hospices have been very successful in reaching this goal.
Does hospice provide support to the family after the patient dies?
Yes. Bereavement Services follow family and caregivers for a year following the patient's death. These services may include personal visits, providing information concerning the grief process and offering periodic opportunities for group support. Bereavement Services provides information and referral to other area resources when needed.
ARE ALL HOSPICE AGENCIES THE SAME? ANY DIFFERENCES?
No. "Hospice" is a medical specialty like pediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, etc. Each hospice provider is a different company. All hospice care agencies have the same general philosophy of patient and family care. But each each hospice agency is run a different company and their services may differ. In silicon valley, Santa Clara county, Santa Cruz county, San Mateo County and Alameda County, its your right to choose the right hospice agency that you like.
WHO PAYS FOR HOSPICE CARE?
Sunrise Hospice care is 100% covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. Sunrise Hospice care bills directly to Medicare, MediCal, Medicaid and private insurance. We encourage referrals early in the process so that the patient and family can receive the maximum benefit through hospice care program through the comprehensive service that we provide to patient and the family.
DOES THE DECISION TO GO FOR HOSPICE CARE IS GIVING UP HOPE OR WAITING TO DIE?
No. Choosing hospice care is not "GIVING UP". Hospice is "GETTING UP". Hospice is about living. Sunrise Hospice Care bring comfort and quality of life to both patients and the family. Our philosophy and success are helping the the patient and the family to live fully and peacefully until the end of the patient's natural life. Often patients feel good with proper pain and symptom management. Patients who choose hospice care not giving up hone; they are in fact redefining it.
CAN HOSPICE AGENCY MANAGE MY PAIN AND SYMPTOMS AT HOME INSTEAD OF GOING TO HOSPITAL?
Yes. Pain and other symptoms are controlled at patient's home. Sunrise Hospice Care provides has experienced MD, RN and director of patient care services to assess the patient and the needs to ease the pain. If symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, BP or difficulty breathing, hospice nurse can be reached 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. There have been great advancement in recent years to manage the pain and symptom control. Most of the symptoms are controlled without injections or IV medication. The nurses at Sunrise Hospice Care manage each patient's pain and symptom control at each visit. A dedicated Hospice Medical Director at Sunrise Hospice Care is always available to provide consultation or to visit the patient if needed.
CAN A HOSPICE PATIENT CHOOSE TO RETURN TO TREATMENT?
Yes. Patients can choose to stop receiving hospice services without a doctor's consent. Its called "revoking" hospice. Sometimes patients choose to discontinue hospice services because they want to give curative treatments another try. If the patient later chooses to return to hospice care, Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance companies permit re-evaluation of the hospice benefit. In addition, if the patient's condition improves and the disease seems to be in remission, patients can be discharged from hospice and return to aggressive therapy or go on about their daily life. Admitting patient in Hospice is not giving up. Hospice instills hope in families for comfort, dignity, and for a peaceful dying experience. It also provides the patient with coordinated care and better family support. Hope is about living comfort and peace through one's final days. There is hope in hospice. If the discharged patient should later need to return to hospice care due to a decline in health condition, Medicare and most private insurance will allow additional a return to Hospice.
DOES HOSPICE PROVIDE 24-HOUR IN-HOME CARE?
No. Hospice care is not meant to be a substitute for full-time skilled nursing care. Hospice does provide continuous but intermittent nursing care, physician visits to assess, monitor and treat symptoms. The hospice aide to helps with patient to assist in bath and clean to make the patient comfortable. In addition the Sunrise Hospice Care team teaches the family and the care givers the skills they need to care the patient. Social workers and the spiritual counselors and volunteers also visit the patient as needed basis.
DOES HOSPICE MAKE THE PATIENTS DEATH SOONER?
No. Hospice care at Sunrise Hospice is always to alleviate the suffering from the pain and manage the symptoms. Hospice care does not make death come sooner. There is no evidence that in hospice care such as pain and symptom management hasten dying process when the person receives the right dose to control the symptoms.
DOES SUNRISE HOSPICE CARE IN SILICON VALLEY AFFILIATED WITH ANY RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION?
No. All denominations are welcome and Sunrise Hospice Care does not discriminate based on race, religion, gender identity or age
CAN I LIVE ALONE AND STILL RECEIVE HOSPICE SERVICES?
Yes. Sunrise Hospice Care accepts patients who live alone, however, part of the admission and ongoing care process is to plan and prepare for the time in a patient's illness when 24-hour a day care will be necessary.