At Great Plains Health Home Health & Hospice, we strive to treat each patient's end-of-life journey with respect, kindness, compassion and support. Our family-centered approach works to make sure that the needs and wishes of both the family and the patient are met through the hospice experience. We provide a wide range of hospice care services that include:
- Physicians trained in hospice
- Skilled nursing
- Physical therapy
- Social work
- Personal and spiritual care
- Trained volunteers
Frequently asked questions
What is hospice?
Hospice is not a place. Hospice is an approach to end-of-life care that serves patients physically, emotionally and spiritually. Hospice can be delivered in a hospital, a nursing home, a hospice house, a patient's home or any other place the patient lives. Ultimately, hospice is a state of mind. It is turning away from aggressive medical measures designed to prolong life when those procedures are no longer productive. It is a recognition that the end of life is approaching.
The philosophy behind the hospice program is based on the premise that everyone has a right to die with dignity in as much comfort as possible, as alert as possible, with an opportunity for personal growth and the healing of personal relationships. Because care is centered on enhancing the quality of life even when the end is in sight, hospice is really all about living.
Hospice care never hastens death, but it eases the journey for both patient and caregivers, with an emphasis on quality of life over quantity of life.
Your hospice team
The hospice team at Great Plains Health Home Health & Hospice includes a team of professionals trained in end-of-life care.
- Social workers.
- Spiritual and bereavement counselors.
Together, we cradle patients and families during their end-of-life journey. Hospice allows patients to focus not on dying, but on the things they find meaningful in their remaining days.
Medicare covers nearly all of the costs of hospice medications and supplies. Hospice can even provide medical equipment (such as a hospital bed, walker or wheelchairs) so that patients can remain comfortably in their home around familiar surroundings.
When is the right time to make the hospice decision?
Dealing with death is difficult and not generally a situation most people want to face. There are many reasons why people wait too long to refer to hospice. Often, patients or families who need hospice care delay accessing our services until as late as days or weeks before the patient is near death. Unfortunately, by the time the family realizes time is running out, they are worn down, in the midst of emotional trauma and confused about what direction to turn.
At Great Plains Health Home Health & Hospice, we encourage families to consider hospice care for their loved one as soon as they learn that they are dealing with a life-limiting illness. Doing so helps to ensure that identified needs are met early, appropriate support systems are in place and the patient and his or her family have time to build a relationship and comfort level with their hospice team.
How do I start the hospice conversation with my loved one?
Perhaps the most difficult obstacle to entering a hospice program is simply admitting that the end-of-life is inevitably approaching. People often consider hospice as the place where hope is gone. The truth is, hospice is the place where families and patients can turn away from fear and be led to a place of warmth, where life is cherished and made the most of. Families let us into their homes and hearts at the time they are the most vulnerable. They trust that we will give them respect and the honor to die pain-free in the place that they choose. Our team takes that seriously. It really isn't up to us to determine someone else’s choices. In hospice, everyone leaves this Earth on his or her own terms.
Tips on starting a hospice conversation
- When faced with a diagnosis of a terminal disease, discuss your options for care, including hospice, with your doctor, family members or a member of the clergy.
- Find a quiet time and a place with no distractions to broach the subject.
- Include as many family members in the conversation as is comfortable for all.
- Remember that feelings and reactions may be highly emotional, so give everyone time to adjust to the idea.
- Don’t expect a decision immediately, but give everyone the freedom to discuss the topic in the future.
- Hospice can be provided in your home, in a nursing home, in a hospital or in a hospice facility. But regardless of the venue, hospice provides a team of caring professionals who can manage the medical and emotional needs of both the patient and the family.
- Ask for a free hospice consultation so that you understand the services available. Medicare and many insurance plans cover hospice services.
We're here for you and your family, providing around-the-clock support and care. For more information, call 308.568.7434.