Are you thinking about the end of life care options but have no idea what to choose? If so, we are here to help by going over the top end of life care option so you can select the best option for yourself or your loved one. Preparing for the end of life care is one of the hardest things you’ll have to do in your life, but preparing now will make that time easier when it comes. To see what end of life care options there are, their benefits, and their costs keep reading below.
Table of Contents
- Deciding on End of Life Care Options
- Hospice Care
- What Are the Benefits of Hospice Care?
- Is Hospice Expensive?
- Long-Term Care Facilities
- What Are the Benefits of Long-Term Care Facilities?
- What Is the Cost of Long-Term Care Facilities?
- Palliative Care
- What Are the Benefits of Palliative Care?
- Is Palliative Care Expensive?
- Hospital-Based Care
- How Much Is Hospital-Based Care?
- Home-Based Care
- What Are the Benefits of Home-Based Care?
- What Are the Costs of Home-Care?
- Now You Know About End of Life Care Options
Deciding on End of Life Care Options
When it comes to deciding on end of life care options for you or a loved one the conversation won’t be easy. Planning for the end of your life will bring up many emotions and sometimes seem near impossible to do. We are here to help you compare the end of life options that are available so you can see the benefits and decide which route is the best for you. When looking at these options you should consider what will make the most sense towards the end of your or a loved one’s life and which will best fit their needs.
It’s good to keep in mind that some end of life care options may be better for others and not suitable for some. For example, if your loved one has a terminal diagnosis you’ll want them somewhere that can keep their pain at bay and their last moments on earth easy going.
Below we have listed some end of life care options that you can choose from. Be sure to select the option that best fits you or your loved one, so no pain or complications arise at the end of life.
Hospice care is perfect for those that have gotten diagnoses with a terminal illness. Hospice can also be a great choice for those who have been medically certified to have a life expectancy of 6 months or less. For hospice to be covered by insurance the patient must refuse any curative treatments and choose to receive symptom management and comfort care instead. Hospice is great for those who are terminal patients that no longer wish to receive treatments that will extend their lives.
Hospice is also a great choice for those who are no longer benefiting from treatments. This could be things such as the body not responding to cancer treatments that will slow down the disease or even cure the process.
Depending on how long the patient has hospice will give you the decision of hospice in home care or to go to a hospice facility to get treatment. They will work with you to decide which option is best for you and your loved one.
What Are the Benefits of Hospice Care?
Now that we’ve discussed what hospice care is, it’s now time to talk about its benefits. The first benefit that may seem obvious is that hospice isn’t limited to one single environment. Those who choose hospice for end of life care can receive treatment in a number of settings including their home, nursing home, assisted living facility, or even a long-term care facility. If none of these seem appealing the patient does have the option to receive hospice treatment at a free-standing hospice house.
Another benefit of choosing hospice is that the overall goal of hospice is to provide care that will help to make the patient’s remaining time very comfortable. This is well executed because hospice is consists of a care team that addresses spiritual, physical, and psychosocial needs.
These care team members will be around regularly, and they are always available to reach by the phone all day and night. Even after your loved one has passed you can go to the hospice to receive short-term care for grief and loss. This makes it a great option for the overall family.
Hospice care also isn’t something you have to lock into. If the patient outlives their life expectancy then their care can continue through hospice. This is as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. There are some hospice patients that stay on hospice care for years.
Lastly, the care can end at any time if the patient decided to change their end of life care plan. Patients will also have the freedom to change hospice care providers as they wish.
Is Hospice Expensive?
Patients that are receiving and eligible for care from a provider certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will have coverage by Medicare Part A. This means that all care relating to the diagnoses will have full coverage. It’s good to note that this coverage varies from state to state so you should consult with your state regulations to ensure coverage.
If you have private health insurance then they may cover some of the costs depending on what policy you have. Some hospice centers even offer charity care for patients who are eligible to receive care but don’t have insurance.
Long-Term Care Facilities
Long-term care facilities are great for those who need high levels of support that can’t be provided at home. These facilities include things such as assisted living facilities and even nursing homes. Usually, these options are more cost-effective when the patient needs around the clock care.
What Are the Benefits of Long-Term Care Facilities?
When it comes to long-term care facilities there is more support available that can help to meet a wide range of care needs. These facilities will also allow for the patient to socialize, access to rehabilitation services, and even the option to do recreational activities.
What Is the Cost of Long-Term Care Facilities?
Costs of long-term care facilities will vary depending on the patient’s location and their individual needs. You can expect to be paying thousands a month for a long-term care facility. Payment can be sourced from Medicare, VA benefits, Medicaid, family resources, and long-term care insurance.
Palliative care is another end of life option that can be selected for those who have a severe illness and require pain relief. Due to this, sometimes palliative care and hospice are confused.
Palliative care can also help patients with symptom management. This care type is best for those who have a life expectancy of more than 6 months.
Palliative care is great for patients that have heart failure, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Alzheimer’s disease, forms of dementia, and kidney failure among others. There is a large number of people who can receive this type of care each year, but only a small amount actually does.
What Are the Benefits of Palliative Care?
The care programs offered by palliative care that are separated from hospice will help to provide comfort care to the patient. With this said, these programs will also provide patients with the option to continue with curative care if they would like to.
These services can also be received in a number of settings. As long as support is offered by an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals that are care experts when it comes to palliative care. These experts will even be trained in talking about the end of life care goals which will help make planning and preparation a breeze.
The palliative care programs that are home-based are growing in popularity fast especially with the senior age group. Even people who have a chronic diagnosis such as anxiety, depression, pain, nausea, shortness of breath, and sleeping issues can receive this end of life care to help improve the quality of life through the course of the illness.
Is Palliative Care Expensive?
When it comes to insurance covering palliative care it will be covered in the same way that any other medical service is. Most insurance plans, whether public or private, can cover all or even a large part of palliative care costs. This is even true when it comes to Medicaid and Medicare.
Usually, additional services such as in-home care services aren’t covered. Thye can be if the patient requires skilled nursing care or even therapy services to help manage their conditions.
Hospital-based care is great for those who need an intense level of care. It’s also a great option for those who life-sustaining treatments or even curative treatments. These patients can be placed in units such as the coronary care units (CCUs) and intensive care units (ICUs).
What are the Benefits of Hospital-Based Care?
The top benefit of hospital-based care is that medical professionals are always available. This means that the highest levels of treatment and care aren’t far away and can be given as needed. Hospitals also will provide visitation that’s flexible for family members, especially for a dying patient.
How Much Is Hospital-Based Care?
Usually, Medicare Part A, private insurances, and Medicaid will cover parts of a patient’s hospital bills. Since families and patients have little to no control over the hospital costs they can get quite high very fast.
Depending on what insurance the patient has a majority of these bills may not be covered. This means the patient will be required to pay out of pocket which can lead to finical issues.
Home-based care is highly dependent upon the patient’s goals for care, the amount of caregiving support available, and the patient’s condition. Talking to the patient’s primary care physician and family will usually help to decide if home-based care is the best option.
Consulting with those who will be caring for the patient is very important. They will want to work together to ensure that the patient is receiving the care they need while the caregivers avoid burnout.
What Are the Benefits of Home-Based Care?
The top benefit of home-based care is that the patient can remain in their house and receive care. They can even receive care from a family member’s home if that’s their choice, overall home-based care will allow the patient to receive the best care from wherever they choose.
Home-based care is also very customizable. It provides more control and autonomy over the patient’s daily activities and even the environment. Also, patients will be less likely to have confusion or delirium since they are in a familiar setting.
What Are the Costs of Home-Care?
When it comes to home-care costs they rely heavily on the type of care, the frequency of it, and the level at which the patient requires. This means that if you hire nurses to provide all the care costs will be higher than a family member tending to the patient. With this said, Medicare Part B may cover some or all of the costs but you will have to consult with the program to see.
Now You Know About End of Life Care Options
Preparing for the end of your life or a loved one’s life will never be easy, but planning will help to make the process smoother for when the time comes. We have gone over the top end of life care options so you can help decide which is best for you and your family.
From hospice that will make sure you and your family are taken care of to hospital-based care that will have doctors on call, you now know your options so you can select the best one. For more medical tips and information be sure to check out the rest of our website.