My experience with end of life care has been more than most people my age. Last year my dad passed away. Leading up to this, he had been on dialysis for 7 years with a very long list of preexisting health conditions. It reached a point where the dialysis was no longer working and we reached the tough decision to no longer continue with dialysis. Unlike other topics I have discussed in this blog, I would like to take the perspective of the patient’s family rather than the healthcare provider, as what follows is my perspective on my dad’s end of life care.
Assisted Living in Wayne NJ
Leading up to this decision, my dad had been in a private assisted living center called Sunrise Assisted Living. Here they provided him all of his daily needs such as food, administering his prescribed medications, and any daily routine that he may have needed help with. The staff at this facility were awesome and they made the whole experience a lot easier. The only catch to this facility was that insurance didn’t cover it and we had to pay $7700 a month for this assisted living center.
Sunrise Assisted Living in Wayne NJ
Once we made the decision to stop dialysis, we knew there was not much time left. 1 week passed since we made the decision to stop dialysis to my dad passing. We made the decision to place my dad on hospice on wednesday and he passed on Sunday. Between the assisted living facility, my dad’s primary care doctor, and his dialysis center, they facilitated ordering and arranging hospice.
Hospice in Wayne NJ
Valley Hospital Hospice was in charge of my dad’s last few days of life. They helped to administer his medications and make sure that he was comfortable. Valley Hospital Hospice were amazing, their website says that they shift the focus of treatment to comfort care and quality of life is when a cure is no longer likely for a patient with advanced illness. Valley Hospice can make this transition easier for patients and their families, and this is exactly what they did. The hospice care did not cost us anything, as it was covered by my dad’s insurance.
As we mentioned in class, most people on hospice are either in an assisted living facility or the hospital when they pass. The hospice care team that helped my dad were incredible. My dad was no easy patient in his last few days of life. This experience showed me that being a hospice worker requires patience, compassion, and being an overall good person. What they did for my dad in his last few days made the whole experience for me and my mom so much easier as we did not have to worry about whether my dad was comfortable or not, as the hospice workers were taking amazing care of him and making sure he was comfortable.
Other Hospice Options in Wayne NJ
My family was lucky because my dad was in an assisted living facility so they helped us arrange hospice for him. But what if a family member wanted to pass at home and not in a hospital or an assisted living facility? The process is not much different. If a loved one you know is about to pass away you simply contact their physician, and have them order hospice for your family member. Once this has been ordered, they will help you arrange hospice. One pressing issue is what if you do not have insurance?
As I have discussed in my previous blogs, many people living in my town and the neighboring towns do not have insurance. If you do have insurance, hospice is most likely covered by it. Thankfully though, even if you do not have insurance, Most hospice services will not turn you away because of an inability to pay. As it says on the Valley Hospital Hospice website, As an independent community-based, not-for-profit healthcare provider, Valley Hospice accepts eligible hospice patients, regardless of their ability to pay. The goal at Valley Hospice is never to deny care to those who need it. This is an amazing thing that the hospice providers do because no one should be denied end of life care due to their financial situation.