During the final stage of life, most people prefer to rest at home, and hospice care at home can be a very positive experience for seniors and their family members.
Seniors and their family members experience many emotional highs and lows as their final days near, and professional hospice teams can see you through it all with grace and compassion.
One of the major worries for families during this time is paying for care. Fortunately, funding for seniors needing 24/7 home hospice care is available in California for those who need it, and it covers respite care to give family caregivers a short break.
What Is 24/7 Home Hospice Care?
In-home hospice care, also known as continuous care, is care given by hospice workers in a senior’s home around the clock.
The concept of hospice care is care that’s centered around compassion. In-home hospice care consists of a complementary set of services that support patients through the end of life, and also their family members.
Unlike other medical services, hospice care at home focuses on all aspects of a patient’s life – physical, emotional, and spiritual. The goal is to manage symptoms and pain so the patient maintains a sense of dignity and quality of life through their final days.
Home hospice care does not refer to a facility, although services can be provided in a nursing home or assisted living facility if they can’t be provided in the home.
Who Pays For Home Hospice Care in California?
Nearly everyone in California who has a terminal illness has access to funding for 24/7 home hospice care through the Medicare program.
Hospice care at home encompasses a wide variety of services including:
- Medical services
- Nursing care
- Items and services for managing symptoms and pain
- Durable medical equipment
- Prescription drugs
- Health aides
- Social services
- Homemaker services
- Grief or spiritual counseling
How to Pay for Hospice Care
It can be difficult for seniors and their family members to come to terms with a terminal illness. Worrying about how to fund care adds to the burden seniors and family members feel. It’s best to explore all available options for in-home hospice care funding.
If you are already eligible for Medicare, you can rest assured in-home hospice care services are covered expenses.
What if you need home hospice care and you are not eligible for Medicare? If you fall into the low-income earner bracket and meet the requirements for hospice care, Medicaid will cover in-home hospice services.
As an alternative, an HMO or private insurance will also pay for hospice care at home, although your portion of the expenses will be higher than those who receive Medicare or Medicaid. Hospice staff, including financial specialists, will generally help seniors who don’t qualify for federal programs understand options such as self-pay. Hospice professionals also often have connections with charitable organizations that are willing to help with expenses.
Since most seniors are eligible for Medicare, the majority of seniors use it as the preferred funding source. The second reason is Medicare covers all the services most people need at this difficult time, including in-home hospice care. That’s important since 80% of Americans prefer to receive hospice care at home surrounded by their loved ones.
In particular, Medicare Part A covers comprehensive and higher-level care services regardless of the location hospice services are delivered. When a senior’s symptoms become too much for routine hospice staff to manage, Medicare Part A will also cover higher levels of care needed to manage severe pain and other symptoms. Medicare covers 24/7 home hospice care and inpatient care at no extra charge to the patient or their families.
Finding out that you or a loved one is dealing with a terminal illness is one of the most difficult times in a family’s life. Everyone deserves to go through such a time with dignity and compassion. Knowing that in-home hospice care and the funding to support it is available makes such a tough time easier to bear. If you need hospice care at home in San Diego please contact us for a free consultation.