“It always seems too early, until it’s too late.”
That is the theme of this year’s National Healthcare Decisions Day, which will be a week long this year, celebrated April 16 – 22.
According to NHDD.org, National Healthcare Decisions Day aims to help people across the U.S. understand the value of advance healthcare planning. Because far too many people wait until they are in the midst of a health care crisis before thinking about what options are available or what care they or their loved ones would have wanted.
It’s an all too common situation; a family is at the bedside of a loved one who is seriously ill and nearing the end of life. Each member of the family has a different idea of what should be done or what the patient would have wanted.
Often, by waiting too long to learn about possible options, like hospice care, people end up spending difficult days in the hospital or emergency room with no plan in place.
When a family is coping with a serious illness and a cure is no longer possible, hospice provides the type of care most people say they want at the end of life: comfort and dignity. Considered to be the model for high-quality, compassionate care for people with a life-limiting illness, hospice care includes expert medical care, pain & symptom management and emotional and spiritual support from a team of inter-disciplinary professionals and trained volunteers. Throughout the course of hospice, the wishes of the patient and family are always at the center of care.
Some people may not realize that hospice is not a place – rather, it’s a plan of care. Most hospice care is provided in the home; which is where the majority of Americans have said they would want to be at this time. Hospice can also be provided in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospice centers.
One of the best ways to make sure you and your loved ones fully benefit from hospice is to talk about it before it becomes an issue. We recognize that sometimes not knowing when to call hospice is especially difficult. Unity Hospice is available 24/7 to discuss if hospice or palliative care is the right choice for you or your aging loved one. Our staff is available to help you every step of the way in making these final decisions relating to healthcare and well-being. The decisions are based on your personal values, preferences and discussions with your loved ones.
Hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. At Unity Hospice, no person is turned away due to inability to pay.
For more information on how you can start the conversation on end-of-life planning, visit Unity Hospice’s Advance Care Planning page. Or, feel free to visis www.NHDD.org for a variety of free information and tools to assist with thoughtful reflection on healthcare choices.
About Unity Hospice
Serving patients in Illinois, Indiana and Missouri, Unity Hospice is a family owned and operated hospice and palliative care company founded in 1992. Unity Hospice is committed to providing comprehensive care, support and education to people facing a life-limiting illness, their families and the community. They provide care of the highest quality by licensed and competent staff in accordance with laws & regulations and accepted standards of practice. With the dedication to make patients comfortable, Unity Hospice provides an interdisciplinary approach to each individual and family, in which they go above and beyond everyday to meet their needs.