Making the decision to seek hospice care is an important one, but equally important is choosing which hospice provider to use. It’s not necessarily a difficult choice but it can seem daunting at first due to the sizable amount of care providers probably available to you.
We’ve talked about the benefits of not delaying hospice care , and it bears repeating since it is easier to choose the hospice right for you when you have a little time to decide. With those things in mind, let’s take a look at some helpful guidelines for selecting the right hospice provider for you and your loved ones.
Seek a recommendation from a trusted source
Most hospice providers offer the same basic services but not all may be the right fit for your situation. Word-of-mouth from a source that you know and trust remains one of the best ways to find an appropriate hospice provider. Your doctor and social worker should be able to direct you to some quality choices as well as have experience working with them and understanding the services they can provide. Friends or family members that have had experience with hospice care can also offer their unique and personal insight as well.
Make a list of questions to ask your preferred provider(s)
Specific and direct questions can be great guidelines in helping you to determine what is important for hospice care in your situation. When you meet with a community liaison or representative from the hospice provider, they will be able to answer your questions and explain how their care fits your needs. A few common questions to think about are:
- How quickly will care be implemented and symptoms managed?
- Which specific services does the hospice team provide or not provide?
- What will be the relationship with the family caregiver?
- What is the process for after-hours or weekend care, specifically in the event of a crisis?
How you feel about a specific provider?
While it is important to keep a clear and rational head during these difficult times, it is still a very emotional stage of life. Don’t ignore your own feelings with regard to the chemistry of the hospice provider and/or their representative. If everything sounds good on paper but it still doesn’t “feel right”, don’t be afraid to seek other options. Remember that this is more than a medical decision, this is a decision about the final moments and connections between you, your loved one and the hospice care team. There needs to be a personal connection of some kind for the best results.
Making the decision to pursue hospice care is not an easy one and, while we hope you consider Bridgeway Hospice, we wish you and your loved ones comfort and peace no matter which hospice provider you choose.