The COVID-19 pandemic has added unexpected difficulties for those already dealing from the challenges of caring for a loved one with a serious health condition. It is tricky to find balance between finding reliable care and also being able to spend remaining moments with your loved ones in confidence.
That is why it’s important to ask the right questions of your hospice provider. Here are five important questions you need to ask about hospice during a pandemic or uncertain health environments.
1. Find out if they are taking in new patients
When reaching out to hospice providers in a pandemic, it’s important to learn if they are even accepting patients right now. In many cases, families wait until well after their loved one is eligible for hospice care to reach out for information. When a patient is hospice eligible, time is of the essence. The sooner hospice professionals can see your loved one, the sooner your loved one’s symptoms can be managed and pain can be brought under control.
2. Are you making in-patient visits?
Hospice care is an essential service for patients whether they are receiving care at home or in an assisted living facility, nursing home, hospital, or other facility. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has stated that hospice workers are” absolutely to be permitted into facilities to provide care to patients as long as they are not subject to a work exclusion due to an exposure to COVID-19 OR showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 after being screened”. Rest assured, the most careful and precautious care is taken in dealing with both your family and your loved one in our care.
Family caregivers and healthcare facility staff have provided incredible care through all the challenges this year. But no one has to do it alone. Hospice professionals are your partners in caregiving and have unique training to support terminally ill patients. Our visits mean more care and added socialization to help you ensure these individuals have the best quality of life.
3. What precautions are you taking?
At Unity First, we are meeting all facility testing requirements. Staff are screened with temperature checks and assessed at the beginning of every shift to make sure they have no signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Our sites are well-stocked with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks and gloves. We also have cleaning and sanitizing procedures in place throughout our offices. We are happy to speak with families and facilities about our protocols and procedures to put your minds at ease. The health and well-being of our patients and staff is our number one priority.
4. How are you supporting the emotional and spiritual needs of patients?
Physical care is important. Hospice nurses and aides will make sure those needs are met. However, true patient-centered care also includes mental, spiritual, and psychosocial needs – even in a pandemic. Unity’s social workers, chaplains, bereavement coordinators, and volunteers are working with patients and families to meet their unique needs with in-person visits, telehealth video visits, phone calls, and personal letters.
Our team works with patients and families to come up with creative ways to add joy to their days and enhance quality of life.
5. How can I best support my loved one through this?
These are unprecedented times. No one can be expected to do it all on their own or have all the answers – especially when trying to juggle care for a seriously ill relative during a pandemic. If you have questions about adding extra care or ensuring their mental, emotional, and spiritual needs are being met, please give us a call.
We have staff available to answer your questions and help find hospice care for your loved one! Let us make you a part of our family.
If you’d like to hear more about how we are operating during these times, please give us a call today: 562 – 378 – 4607