Patients referred to Atlanta hospice care are usually guided there by a physician or a hospital caseworker. Typically, that is where their input ends. They will provide a list of recommended providers within the area and may even point you towards Atlanta hospice care they have heard good things about or prefer.
Tip #1: Thinking Ahead Helps
Because this might be an emotionally challenging period in your life, as well as that of the loved one in need of care, you may rush to partner with the first service you contact. Doing so is not a wise course of action. And because it can be challenging to make such choices during these heightened emotional periods, it is a proactive idea to identify and choose your preferred provider far in advance of even needing their services.
Tip #2: Think about Location
While many of us automatically assume that your Atlanta hospice care occurs exclusively in a patient’s home, it is also possible in a nursing home setting or a hospital. So, the location of the hospice is significant. However, that is not the only factor relating to the area. Because the hospice care provider’s office is nearby, it does not mean that the nurses and professionals they hire are close, as well. Take the time to find out where the people providing the care come from, and be sure you won’t have to rely on people who may be an hour, or more, from their patient.
Tip #3: Think about the Medical Professionals Available
In almost all instances of hospice, it is a team of professionals offering care. The hospice team works with the primary caregiver (a person chosen by the patient to serve as the primary decision maker and care provider throughout the hospice stay). The team itself should include an interdisciplinary group that may consist of doctors, nurses, dietitians, counselors, social workers, home health aides, therapists and even volunteers and clergy that help the primary caregiver and patient make necessary decisions.
Tip #4: Understand the Level of Care
Not all hospice teams provide the different levels of care at the same rate. Levels of care in hospice should be based on patient need, but you should understand how easily they are able to provide those if needed. In addition to routine in-home care with intermittent visits by the hospice team, you should know how they offer general inpatient care, respite care (which is for family members and caregivers burnt out by the round-the-clock work required), and continuous bedside care. All hospice should be able to provide those four levels of care: routine, continuous, general inpatient, and respite care. A doctor will determine which level of care is best, and it is imperative to find a service that commits to offering any of those levels your loved one may need.
Tip #5: Think about the Hospice’s Relationship with a Physician
Physicians play a rather significant role in hospice care and will provide orders for medication and treatment in addition to assessing the plan of care and educating the hospice team. Naturally, expert medical oversight is essential. Having a strong working relationship with a qualified hospice and or palliative care certified physician is as significant as having a comprehensive hospice team.
Consider receiving a free in-home consultation from Inspire Hospice and Palliative Care. To speak with a nurse, call 404-537-3737.