Hospice Care Questions and Answers for Mesothelioma Patients
Asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma are usually fatal. Your treatment may not be successful, and despite all your efforts, the condition may progress. Hospice care makes your last months as comfortable and meaningful as possible.
Hospice care, according to the National Institute on Aging, focuses on caring, comforting, and improving the quality of life of someone with a severe illness (like lung cancer or mesothelioma) who’s approaching the end of their life. It can include spiritual and emotional support for the patient and loved ones. Hospice care generally occurs when a person’s expected lifespan is six months or less.
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice care is for seriously ill people who choose not to receive or continue treatment meant to cure or control their condition. People may enroll if treatment is likely to be ineffective or if the side effects of continuing are too burdensome. Hospice care can also provide support for family members.
Hospice care can:
- Provide comfort and peace to the patient to improve their quality of life as they near death
- Psychological, emotional, and spiritual support for the patient and their family
- Pain relief
- Advanced care planning help
- Physical or occupational therapy
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 1.8 million Americans received hospice care in 2018.
What Are the Benefits of Hospice Care?
Studies show the pain of those receiving hospice is better managed, and families are more likely to report satisfaction with the care received. Patients are also less likely to have tests or be given medication they don’t want or need.
Does Choosing Hospice Care Mean I’ve Given Up?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer. Cancer patients often get the message they must “fight” and have the right “attitude” to survive. Asbestos-related lung cancer and mesotheliomas are usually impossible to cure, no matter how much you “fight” or your “attitude.”
Treatment is all about living the best life you can for as long as you can. Choosing hospice care isn’t “giving up.” It’s making the best of a very bad situation for you and your family.
Am I Eligible for Hospice Care?
Anyone seriously ill and whose healthcare provider believes they have a short time to live usually qualifies. For Medicare to pay for it, treatment to cure or control the illness must stop.
Must I Stop Taking Medication If I’m in Hospice?
Medication and other treatments to cure or control your condition will stop. Those addressing pain and issues impacting your quality of life (such as high blood pressure or pain) can continue.
When Should Hospice Care Start?
Many wait to receive hospice care until their final weeks or days. Few of us want to admit our mortality, but if you have an incurable asbestos-related disease, talk with your doctor about it, its progression, what type of care you want, and when. Starting hospice earlier than later may provide you with months of meaningful care and benefit your family as well.
Where Do I Get Hospice Care?
It can be provided in many settings, depending on your needs and those of your family:
- Private home
- Nursing home
- Assisted living facility
Your choice could be impacted by a desire to be home, cost, and practical issues. You should discuss the matter with your physician, family members, and hospice care provider.
Should Hospice Care Be in My Advanced Care Plan?
Advanced care planning includes making care decisions impacting the end of your life ahead of time. Studies show patients who have had advanced care planning receive care more aligned with their wants and are more satisfied with their care.
Will Insurance Cover Hospice Care?
Does Hospice Include 24/7 Care?
If you’re in a nursing home or hospital you would receive 24/7 care like other residents or patients. Paid caregivers, family, and friends typically care for those getting hospice care at home, though someone from the organization providing it usually is available by phone 24/7.
Satterley & Kelley Helps Clients With Asbestos-Related Diseases Get the Compensation They Deserve
If you have a fatal case of mesothelioma, it was probably caused by asbestos exposure. You may be able to receive payment for your healthcare and compensation for all you endured because of your condition. To learn more, call us toll-free at 855-385-9532 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.