- What is Hospice?
Hospice encompasses various levels of service, all intended to help those with a serious illness live their lives to the fullest in spite of their physical condition. Hospice Services may seem purely medical at first glance, but at Hospice Services of Alabama, they encompass everything from emotional and spiritual support to help with personal hygiene as well as virtually all of the details that come with carrying on a productive lifestyle. As such, hospice care need not take place in a dedicated facility—it can be delivered in a patient’s home, their family’s home, a nursing home or any other such dwelling the patient has come to call “home.”
- How is Hospice Services of Alabama different from other Hospice organizations?
Hospice Services of Alabama is founded on the principle that to provide the most meaningful and effective service, all levels of management – including the CEO – must remain actively involved in patient and family care.
We also take pride in our Open Access Philosophy. This means that no course of treatment that may contribute to an individual’s quality of life will be discounted or denied. We will accept any person who is eligible for hospice care, regardless of the complexity of his or her medical needs.
We encourage and empower patients and families to maintain control and make choices regarding their care. Hospice Services of Alabama’s Open Access Philosophy sets the organization apart from many other hospice providers and demonstrates our passion to providing excellent care without exception.
Hospice Services of Alabama is the only hospice in our region to provide care on a truly daily basis.
- Who is eligible for Hospice Care?
All persons facing a life-limiting illness or accident in which comfort is the primary goal of care.
- When should patients and families consider Hospice Care?
Once an individual receives a life-limiting diagnosis, along with their family and physician, a conversation needs to take place exploring all options of appropriate care. If the goal of care is primarily comfort and quality of life, hospice may be appropriate. A patient does not need to be bed-bound or critically ill to be admitted to hospice care. A Hospice Services of Alabama representative would be happy to discuss with you and your family your individual needs and goals.
- Doesn’t accepting Hospice Care mean giving up?
The Hospice Philosophy of Care recognizes that most diseases in their late stages cannot be cured. This does not mean giving up hope. Hope is found in helping the patient and family achieve the highest possible level of physical, emotional, and spiritual comfort. Many hospice organizations require patients to be “ready” for the end of life before receiving services. At Hospice Services of Alabama you don’t have to be “ready”. Our highly trained professional Care Team works with family members and patients to help identify goals and a Care Plan that is right for them.
- Who pays for Hospice Care?
All hospice services are covered 100% by Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial insurance plans. Gifts from our generous donors will enable Hospice Services of Alabama to provide care to all patients regardless of their financial situation or insurance coverage.
- How does Hospice differ from other medical care?
Hospice recognizes that a serious illness not only affects the patient, but the entire family. A coordinated Care Team of hospice professionals not only work to ensure the physical comfort, dignity, and independence of the patient, but just as importantly strive to meet the patient and family’s emotional and spiritual needs.
- What if my condition improves?
There is no penalty for getting better – this is considered a blessing. Should a patient’s prognosis or condition significantly improve Hospice Services of Alabama will coordinate with the patient, family, and the physician a transfer of care to a non-hospice provider. Should the patient again become eligible for hospice care they may re-elect the hospice benefit at any time.
- How does Hospice manage pain and other symptoms?
We at Hospice Services of Alabama are experts in the art of pain and symptom management. We are continually developing new protocols for keeping our patients comfortable and as alert and independent as possible. We work closely with physicians and pharmacists to use medications singly and in combination to provide the most effective results for each patient.
- Don’t most pain medications make people feel “doped up?
When medications are used appropriately to treat pain and other unwanted symptoms, patients find much needed relief without getting “high” or “addicted”. The result is that the patient often remains more alert and active because they are no longer exhausted from uncontrolled symptoms.
If you have other questions about Hospice Services of Alabama—or hospice services in general—feel free to reach out to us at 205.682.9996.