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Choosing A Hospice Isn't Easy, But Asking These Questions Can Help

As we discussed in the last post, the philosophy of hospice care is to take care of both the body and the soul. While there's no denying that no two holistic care hospices are exactly alike, there are several questions you should be asking to ensure the hospice center you're considering is well suited for your loved one's medical and emotional needs. Here are just a few critical questions to ask before deciding on a holistic hospice.

How long has the hospice been in business?

This isn't to say that a recently opened hospice will provide a lower quality of care than those that have been in business for years, but it can certainly serve as an indicator of stability. Typically, if a hospice center has been in business for many years, it's been established as a viable way to receive end of life care. This definitely shouldn't be your deciding factor, but it can lead you in the right direction.

Is the hospice accredited?

Accreditation isn't legally required for a hospice center, but an accredited hospice center will most likely have higher standards of care. Look for accreditation from JCAHO (Joint Commission: Accreditation, Healthcare, certification) or CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Partner) to ensure that the hospice you're considering will meet the minimum quality standards set by one of these professional institutions.

Does the hospice offer any extra services?

This can be a helpful question to ask when you've narrowed down your selections to just a few possibilities. However, it's important to distinguish which services are offered by some hospices and not others.

"Some services fall in a gray area. They are not required by Medicare but may be helpful to improve the comfort of a patient. An example is radiation and/or chemotherapy for a cancer patient to reduce the size of a tumor and ameliorate pain. Some hospices would not be able to afford to do this but others with deeper pockets could," write Naomi Naierman and Marsha Nelson on the American Hospice Foundation.

Ultimately, approximately 15% of adults over the age of 60 suffer from mental health disorders. Understanding how to find the right hospice center for your loved one is the key to maximizing their quality of life, regardless of physical or mental health status. For more information about holistic care hospice centers, contact Soulistic Hospice.

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