Ingalls Hospice Care
A team approach
Our Hospice team strives to improve the quality of a patient’s last days, weeks or months. Our goal is to help the patient live out each and every day to the best of their ability and keep them in the comfort of their own home, if at all possible.
For more information about Hospice care, call 708.331.1360.
Those eligible for Hospice Care include patients of any age who have an end-stage disease process. Medicare, Medicaid, most HMO’s and private insurance generally cover all hospice expenses. No patient will ever be denied hospice care because of an inability to pay. Patients and their families have the option of canceling hospice care at anytime if a condition improves or if other choices are desired.
Your Care Team
Hospice patients are cared for by a team that may include oncologists, nurses, nurse aids, social workers, pastors and volunteers. The Hospice team assists patients with the physical, emotional, social, spiritual and grief needs they may have as we go through this journey together.
All team members are important in providing the best possible care. They include:
- Primary Physician
- Registered Nurses
- Hospice Physician
- Hospice Aides
- Physical Therapists
- Music Therapist
- Speech Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- Social Workers
- Spiritual Counselors
Ingalls Hospice extends bereavement support to family and friends for up to 13 months after the end of hospice care. Bereavement support groups are also open to anyone in the community who has suffered a loss.
For information on Bereavement Support, please call 708.331.1360.
We value our ability to help the South Suburban community with Ingalls Hospice/Home Care services. In return, our neighbors help us by donating their time.
In fiscal year 2005-2006 alone, volunteers donated more than 13,000 hours of their time, amounting to cost savings estimated at over $13,000 in activities such as:
- Providing support to patients and families in their homes and inpatient units
- Running light errands
- Filing, answering phones and clerical duties
- Preparing bereavement mailings and contributing bereavement support
- Staffing information desks
If you would like to join our team, please call 708.331.1360.
Common Misconceptions Regarding Hospice
Hospice is where you go when there is nothing more a doctor can do.
Hospice is care designed for patients with a life-limiting illness. Hospice is not where you go to die, rather hospice professionals are trained to assist patients in living their lives fully, completely, and without pain until the end of their lives.
To be eligible for hospice, I have to be in the final stages of dying.
Hospice patients and families receive care for an unlimited amount of time, depending upon the course of the illness. There is no fixed limit on the amount of time a patient may continue to receive hospice services.
Quality care at the end of life is very expensive.
Medicare beneficiaries pay little or nothing for hospice. For those ineligible for Medicare, most insurance plans, HMO’s, and managed care plans cover hospice care.
If I chose hospice care, I have to leave my home.
Hospice care is provided wherever the patient may be: in their own home or a family member’s, a nursing home, or an assisted living facility. Hospice is also provided in in-patient units, VA Hospitals, and some correctional facilities.
Families are not able to care for people with life limiting illnesses.
Family members are encouraged, supported, and trained by hospice professionals to care for their loved ones. Hospice staff is on call to the patient and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help family and friends care for their loved ones.
Hospice care is only for cancer or AIDS patients.
Fifty percent of hospice patients are diagnosed with conditions other than cancer or AIDS.
Hospice is just for the elderly.
Hospice is for anyone facing a life-limiting illness, regardless of age.
There’s no hospice in my area.
Less than one percent of Medicare beneficiaries live in an area where hospice is not available.
After the patient’s death, hospice care ends.
Bereavement services and grief support are available to family members for up to one year after the death of a patient.
Hospice Provides What Americans Want at the End of Life
The hospice philosophy holds that end-of-life care should emphasize quality of life. A nationwide Gallup survey conducted for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization produced five key outcomes:
- Nine out of 10 adults would prefer to be cared for at home rather than in a hospital or nursing home if diagnosed with a terminal illness. Hospice does provide the option of being cared for at a place the patient calls home: 96% of hospice care is provided in the patient’s home or place they call home.
- An overwhelming majority of adults said they would be interested in the comprehensive program of care at home that hospice programs provide. Yet most Americans know little or nothing about their eligibility for or availability of hospice.
- When asked to name their greatest fear associated with death, respondents most cited “being a burden to family and friends,” followed by “pain” and “lack of control.” Addressing the whole range of physical and psychological needs of the patient and his or her family in an interdisciplinary way is what makes hospice care so special.
- 90% of adults believe it is the family’s responsibility to care for the dying. Hospice provides families with the support needed to keep their loved one at home, and can take over fully to give the caretaker short “re spite” periods.
- Most adults believe it would take a year or more to adjust to the death of a loved one. However, only 10% of adults have ever participated in a bereavement program or grief counseling following the death of a loved one.
- Hospice programs offer one year of grief counseling for the surviving family and friends.
The Medicare Hospice Benefit
The Medicare Hospice Benefit, initiated in 1983, is covered under Medicare Part A (hospital insurance). Medicare beneficiaries who choose hospice care receive a full scope of non-curative medical and support services for their terminal illness. Hospice care also supports the family and loved ones of the patient through a variety of services, enhancing the value of the Medicare Hospice Benefit.
The Medicare Hospice Benefit Provides for:
- Physician services
- Nursing Care
- Medical appliances and supplies
- Drugs for symptom management and pain relief
- Hospice aide services
- Social work service
- Spiritual care
- Volunteer participation
- Bereavement services
- Therapy services
Who is eligible?
Medicare has three key eligibility criteria:
- The patient’s doctor and the hospice medical director use their best clinical judgment to certify that the patient is terminally ill with a life expectancy of six months or less, if the disease runs its normal course.
- The patient chooses to receive hospice care rather than curative treatments for their illness.
- The patient enrolls in a Medicare-approved hospice program.