Q: My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease 5 years ago. My dad doesn't want to send her to a nursing home but wants to keep her home with Hospice. How does that work? Do only cancer patients get Hospice care?
A: Yes, your mother is eligible for services. Anyone can make a referral to Hospice and we'll work with the medical doctor to certify eligibility.
Due to its prevalence, many people are used to thinking of cancer as the only life-limiting condition that qualifies for Hospice services. Services are also available to people with Alzheimer's disease and other progressive dementias, as well as a variety of other conditions for which curative therapy is not desired or available.
Your mother may receive physician's services; nursing services; physical, occupational and speech therapy; medical social services; home health aide and homemaker services; counseling services; short-term inpatient care or respite care, if needed; diagnosis-related prescription drugs; medical appliances and supplies; and bereavement counseling for your family. These services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits, private insurances and are available when needed, regardless of payment source.
Hospice Chautauqua County offers an extensive menu of services focusing on excellent management of pain and other distressing symptoms; use of an interdisciplinary care team to comprehensively address all sources of suffering; and development of an individualized care plan focused on the needs of the patient and family rather than on the disease.
If your mother can no longer care for herself, has lost the ability to walk independently, has limited meaningful conversation or especially if you are feeling stressed from care giving, call Hospice Chautauqua County Intake at 338-0033 for an evaluation. Working with your community health care provider, Hospice will help provide the right care, by the right person, at the right time, in the right place.
When a 10-year-old was asked ''What is living?'' he replied ''Feeling good enough to do what I want, when I want.'' Hospice Chautauqua County is committed to helping people enjoy a great quality of life for as long as possible. To assist that vision, The Post-Journal will include a monthly healthcare column and invites your questions and comments to be sent to Hospice, 20 Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, NY 14750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hospice Chautauqua County is dedicated to caring for patients and families facing terminal illness. Hospice offers a range of services through a team concept to meet the physical as well as the emotional needs of both the patient and the family. If you are interested in finding out more information on Hospice Chautauqua County, please visit our website at www.hospicechautco.org or call 338-0033.