Frequently Asked Questions
- When should we consider hospice, and whose decision is it really?
When a person has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, it is suitable at any time to begin looking into all healthcare options, including hospice. Heavenly Hospice team members are always available to answer questions or to obtain directions from your doctor to meet with the patient and family to see if hospice would be appropriate and beneficial. If you have a family member or friend you feel might need more education on what hospice has to offer, please refer them to Heavenly Hospice (405-701-2536) to speak to a hospice care professional.
- Do we need to wait for a doctor to suggest hospice, or can we bring it up now?
Some physicians may not be as familiar with hospice care as others. You should feel free to bring up the topic first. Please let your medical provider know that they can contact us with questions or you can ask our staff to reach out to them. Timing is so important to ensure that the patient and family can get the full benefit and all the support that hospice offers.
- What is the next step if I’ve already decided that our family chooses hospice?
A phone call to us is all that is needed to begin an evaluation to find out if a person is appropriate for services. If your doctor has already recommended hospice, then a phone call to us will begin the admission process. A member of our nursing staff will contact the patient’s personal doctor to obtain a physician’s order.
- How long will it take for services to begin?
Admission and a plan of care can usually be developed that same day or the next and services can begin immediately.
- How do I choose a hospice?
Your doctor may recommend a hospice or you may have heard of names of agencies from family and friends who have had good experiences. It is a patient/family right and a choice when choosing care. We are committed to the highest quality care customized to our individual patients, and we are held accountable to the highest standards of Medicare. Our staff has many years of specialized hospice experience, and our territory covers more rural towns than many hospices. For more information please view Why Heavenly Hospice?
- Do I need to buy special equipment or rearrange things in my home before hospice care begins?
No. The Heavenly Hospice team will assess your needs at home, recommend any necessary equipment, and make arrangements to obtain it. Equipment such as wheelchairs, oxygen and hospital beds are covered by the Medicare Hospice Benefit and many insurance plans. Our team will also assess your home for fall risks and other types of safety concerns and make recommendations.
- How much does hospice care cost?
The patient and family will not be billed or pay out of pocket for hospice care costs. Medicare and some insurance plans cover hospice services. For more information please view How do I pay for hospice?
- Is hospice a place?
Hospice is a philosophy of care that focuses on maintaining the comfort and dignity of the patient, offering choices, and supporting the family. Many patients are served in their own homes, but many others are cared for in long-term care facilities (assisted living, nursing home, etc). Hospice serves the patient where they are living. Our community does offer some inpatient facilities where hospice care is administered in a comfortable setting when pain or other distressing symptoms cannot be managed at home, when home nurses or family are unable to meet the current needs of the patient, or when the hospitalized patient needs to transition into end-of-life care. Respite care is short-term inpatient hospice care that provides relief for the caregiver. Learn more about in-patient hospice care in Oklahoma City
- Does hospice slow down or speed up dying?
Neither. Hospice can make this part of life’s journey less painful, less stressful for patients, families, and caregivers and more of a ‘life transition’ for many families, but hospice does not have control over the process of death or the timing. Healthcare professionals can lend us skill and support during pregnancy and birth, childhood, adulthood, as well as during the dying phase of our lives.
- Will hospice manage my pain?
Most patients can attain an acceptable level of comfort with a combination of medications, spiritual and emotional counseling, various therapies, and the support of caregivers and hospice team members.
- Will my doctor still be my doctor once I am on hospice care?
The Heavenly Hospice team is there to supplement, not replace, the care with the patient’s attending physician. We do have medical directors available to help patients who do not have their own doctor or who need home visits.