There are a number of benefits for hospice patients living in an assisted living facility.
- Visits by the hospice team support the care the assisted living staff gives the resident.
- The cost of hospice-related medications, supplies and equipment is covered under the hospice benefit, easing the financial burden on the resident and/or family.
- The hospice team collaborates with the assisted living facility staff to manage pain and symptom issues.
- The hospice staff offers bereavement counseling to the assisted living staff as well as to the resident’s family.
- The hospice team will develop a core plan that will support ALF staff throughout state inspections.
Getting the Conversation Started
How has the resident and family been counseled about the illness? What has the doctor said?
This helps the care team determine what the resident and family know, who is informing them, what their relationship is with the doctor and what language they are using to describe the illness. If the resident uses “cancer,” the team should use the same language.
How has this illness progressed through the resident’s life? How has he or she coped with it up to this point?
The response tells the team how aware the resident is and what he or she understands. It will tell them how the resident is managing the illness— he or she can use those same skills for any new challenges as the disease progresses.
Who is helping and supporting the resident through the illness?
Knowing who is important to the resident will be valuable information for the team.
What things are important to the resident as he or she faces the illness and end-of-life care?
This question helps determine what the resident thinks his or her needs are and gives them the opportunity to share that with their team. “I want to be comfortable,” “not having pain” and “dying peacefully” are all responses that can open a door to talking about hospice services.
The resident and family may express concern about cost.
Hospice care is a benefit a person is entitled to under Medicare, when eligible. Costs of hospice services and some medications and durable medical equipment are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many insurance plans.
We can help you with the conversation about hospice.
A representative from our agency would be glad to personally visit to share more about how we can help the resident and their family.