What Options Are Available in End-of-Life Care

Personal preference for end-of-life care determines how a person lives their last moments. Nonetheless, where the person spends these moments and the level of care play significant roles in this transition. According to Medscape, End-of-Life care in the US continues to improve as it currently stands at 95%. If you or your family member is faced with this situation, there are several options available when it comes to this special type of care. Some of them are listed here.

Hospice Care

This option is available for those already diagnosed with a terminal illness and has a maximum of six months to live, sometimes even less. Hospice care is primarily focused on comfort while attending to physical, emotional, and sometimes spiritual needs. Moreover, because hospice care is not meant for recovery, several centers such as serenitycares.com focus on the patient's psychosocial needs to enhance a smooth transition period.

More importantly, hospice care has coverage under Medicare, Medicaid, and several private insurance companies. This makes it beneficial to persons who are already registered under any of these providers. It’s worth knowing that, depending on your policy, private insurance may not cover the entire cost of hospice care. On the other hand, should there be some extra cost incurred during hospice care, it’ll be on a sliding scale structure.

Palliative Care

Palliative care is similar to hospice, but the difference is in the purpose of treatment. While hospice care aims for comfort and not recovery, the home palliative care option focuses more on curative care. Palliative care can be received in any setting ranging from the health facility to the patient's home. Another distinction between palliative and hospice is that, while the latter usually has a diagnosis of six months or less to live, the former is not that defined.

Perhaps, what makes palliative care the desired option is the mix of skilled multidisciplinary healthcare professionals working together to achieve results. These comprise chaplains, nurses, specialized doctors, nutritionists, etc. People tend to think palliative care is only for terminally ill cancer patients, but that’s not the case. Instead, it’s for a wide range of terminal ailments that aren't necessarily cancer. Therefore, persons with end-stage heart failure or Alzheimer's can benefit from palliative care.

Hospital-based care

This is the most common type of End-of-Life care that people opt for. It’s largely due to the more intensive care level with a wide range of health equipment useful for resuscitation and other healthcare. Additionally, there’s the availability of medical personnel at every time of the day, making this option more convenient. Unfortunately, hospital-based care can be the most expensive of all End-of-Life care options available.

Although some private insurance providers and Medicaid offer some coverage, it’s usually not enough. Sadly, this is not an option you’ll have control over. Therefore, always ensure there’s more than enough funds to cater to this option. According to the Oncology Times, in-hospital end-of-life care costs an average of $500 daily.

At all times, End-of-Life care must include comfort and dignity as the person lives their last moments during the transition period. It’s also beneficial to weigh the cost against the level of care to be received. Indeed, some people prefer not to bother their grieving families with extra cost. On the other hand, others opt to live in comfort until the last moment.

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