Meaningful comfort care begins with clear conversations about your needs and values. At Compassus, we understand how difficult it can be to care for a loved one. To support your conversations, we have compiled hospice caregiver FAQs to help you and your family make well-informed care decisions. This list of frequently asked questions can give your family insight and a place to easily find the answers you’re looking for. Here are some of the most common caregiver questions.
Hospice is available for patients with a life expectancy of six months or less, as determined by your doctor and a hospice medical director. For more information, ask your doctor, visit our hospice eligibility criteria page or contact a Compassus location near you.
Led by a medical director, our interdisciplinary team consists of doctors, nurses (RNs), social workers, chaplains, licensed aides, bereavement counselors, and volunteers. We work with you, your loved ones, and doctors to offer a personal hospice care plan to meet your goals and wishes for care.
Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans, VA Benefits, Medicaid, and many private insurance plans. Hospice is a financial relief to many because services related to life-limiting illness, such as medications, home medical equipment, and supplies, are covered by hospice benefits with few or no out-of-pocket expenses.
You do. The decision is made together with you, your physician, and your loved ones. Once you begin hospice, you can decide to stop care anytime if you change your mind or seek treatments to cure a life-limiting illness.
Medicare rules require all approved hospice providers to offer a common minimum set of services. Our team works with you, your loved ones, and doctors to create a personalized hospice care plan. To learn more about Medicare benefits, see the list of services covered.
There may be times when hospice is no longer appropriate, your condition improves, or you change your mind and decide to restart treatments. If hospice care is no longer appropriate, you can revoke your participation at any time. You can also re-apply for hospice benefits if necessary.
You may also change hospice providers with sufficient notice.
Hospice is not as much a specific place as a philosophy of care. Care is provided based on the patient’s needs and situation. It can be anywhere a patient calls home, including a private residence, nursing home, or group home.
Most patients can reach an acceptable level of comfort with a combination of medication, counseling, and therapies. We try to reach your preferred balance of relief and awareness. Some of our locations also offer music, pet, and massage therapies. Click here to learn more about available end-of-life pain management options.
Some of the end-stage illnesses for hospice referral include:
- Heart disease or heart failure
- COPD and other lung diseases
- Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Adult failure to thrive
- Huntington’s disease
- Liver disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Kidney failure
Caring for someone seriously ill can be challenging. Our staff is available around the clock to consult with you and visit as needed. Inpatient respite care is also available to give caregivers short-term relief or to help treat patients whose needs have become too complex to be met at home. Compassus is here to help you understand the realities of hospice care.
Compassus will assess and recommend equipment needs and help you make arrangements to have them set up in your home. Medicare or insurance plans cover many types of equipment.
Care is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The frequency and level of care vary depending on need. The hospice team works with you and your doctors to create a plan of care that adapts to your needs and priorities.
Yes, Compassus offers a year of optional grief support, and pre-grief support can begin even before the death of a loved one.
Compassus is not associated with a particular religion or church. Our chaplains are also nondenominational. In offering spiritual support, we honor different faith backgrounds and provide spiritual care to patients of all religions and beliefs.
Yes. Compassus has met regulatory standards to maintain our license to deliver hospice care and is compliant with federal regulations to be approved for Medicare reimbursement. In fact, in 2012, Compassus became the first hospice provider in the U.S. to publicly reveal patient quality data, setting the standard by which all U.S. hospice providers are measured.
Even if you may not be ready to transition to hospice, it is essential to talk in advance and have your questions and concerns addressed. Feel free to discuss hospice care anytime with your physician, family, clergy, and friends. Learn about hospice eligibility.
Yes. Your doctor works with the hospice team to plan care.
You may ask your physician to submit a referral, call 833.380.9583 or contact a local Compassus program. After your physician refers you to hospice care, you and your family will meet with an admissions nurse to determine your needs and arrange an individualized care plan.
Review more information on getting started with hospice or palliative care.
Palliative care is an extra layer of relief from the symptoms and stress of a severe illness. Support can begin at any stage of an illness, with patients moving in and out of care as needed.
Compassus monitors and follows all guidance from the CDC to protect our patients, families, and colleagues as our care teams continue to visit patients safely.
Compassus Can Answer Your Caregiver Questions
If your questions about hospice and palliative care weren’t answered, we’d be happy to help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out anytime with your questions or concerns. Our care teams are here for you 24/7.
At Compassus, we understand that navigating the world of hospice and palliative care can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to answer your questions and help guide you through every step of the process. Whether you’re just beginning to consider palliative care or have been working with us for years, we’re here for you. So don’t hesitate to reach out at 833.380.9583 with any questions or concerns about care for you or a loved one.