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Hospice Caregiver Guide by Melissa Ritchey

I wrote this guide on hospice care in the home to explain the process in layperson’s terms. It is my hope that it will increase your understanding of the Hospice Benefit and how it applies to YOU and your patient, whether you it’s your spouse, friend, parent, or child. As an RN, I have worked both in hospice home care and a hospice inpatient facility. I have also worked with hospice patients both in the hospital and nursing home. I have done many admissions in the home setting and have a good grasp of what preparations and comfort measures should be implemented to make the patient’s final time a peaceful and loving one Fact: the Hospice Benefit can make things much more bearable because you won’t be entirely alone in making decisions. It can get you services for skilled nursing care, CNAs (certified nursing assistants), physical therapy, social work, speech therapy, chaplain services, and covered (free) medications that are used to treat symptoms. You will also be able to get a hospital bed, and other DME (Durable Medical Equipment). It’s a great service, and one of the sad things about the medical world is that it is often not used soon enough.