Specialized Care and Support in LA & Orange County, CA
Hospice is a specialized philosophy of care and support for individuals with terminal illnesses and their loved ones. At Agape Hospice & Palliative Care, we believe in the importance of living each day to its fullest and focusing on quality of life rather than quantity.
A common phrase Agape hears is, “I wish we knew about hospice sooner”
We understand that many people wish they had known about hospice sooner, which is why we are dedicated to providing skilled pain management, emotional support, spiritual care, and grief support for family members following the death of a loved one. Our approach to hospice care is centered around caring for the person, not just the disease. We prioritize dignity, comfort, and quality of life in the remaining months, weeks, and days. It’s important to note that hospice neither hastens nor slows the natural progression of life. Agape Hospice & Palliative Care brings together a dedicated team of professionals from various disciplines, including doctors, nurses, spiritual counselors, social workers, and volunteers. Our team is highly skilled and experienced in assisting patients and families through the transition from curative care to comfort care. Once a patient enters hospice care, no active or curative therapies are pursued. Instead, our focus is on providing the opportunity for patients to transition with less or without pain, while maintaining as much independence, dignity, and respect as their disease allows. One of the benefits of hospice care is that it allows patients and their families to remain together in the comfort of their own home. Our multidisciplinary team of hospice care experts is committed to helping individuals leave this world peacefully, comfortably, and surrounded by people who genuinely care.
Who is Eligible for Hospice
To be eligible for hospice care, individuals must meet certain criteria. The criteria for hospice eligibility typically include having a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less, as determined by a physician. The individual must also have a desire to focus on comfort care rather than curative treatment. Some common terminal diagnoses that meet hospice eligibility include:
- Liver Disease
- Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA)/Stroke
- Congestive Heart Failure
- COPD/Cardiopulmonary Disease
- Renal Disease
- Neurological Conditions (Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, and Huntington’s Disease)
It is important to note that hospice care is not limited to these specific diagnoses, and eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.
When to Consider Hospice
Having end-of-life care discussions with family members can be challenging and often avoided. However, it is important for families to share their wishes well in advance before it becomes an immediate concern. In many cases, patients with a terminal illness may lose their ability to communicate with their loved ones, leaving family members to make difficult decisions during an already stressful time. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, many patients suffering from a terminal illness wait too long to begin hospice care. This delay can result in missed opportunities for meaningful benefits. Thomas Michael Gill, M.D., the study author and a professor at Yale University, emphasizes the importance of recognizing when hospice care is appropriate and not waiting until the last days of life. At Agape, we have observed that many of our patients, prior to contacting us, have put off hospice care even when there is no chance of a cure. As a result, they often spend months in and out of hospitals, placing a burden on their families. Hospice care was designed to address these issues by providing a skilled team of support to enhance the patient’s quality of life. As a nationally accredited hospice company, Agape is dedicated to providing skilled comfort care at home to our patients and families, regardless of where they live.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hospice
Absolutely. If after six months a patient still requires hospice services, they can continue as long as a medical director or physician recertifies that they are still terminally ill. Our team ensures that the patient’s nutritional, social, and medication needs are met, along with consistent medical attention, which can extend their prognosis.
Yes, our patients have complete control over their care and can leave hospice at any time. This typically happens when their condition stabilizes and they wish to pursue curative treatments again. Additionally, if the patient’s physician believes that they will live beyond six months, hospice care is discontinued and can be resumed later if the patient’s condition deteriorates.
Our highly skilled nurses and doctors specialize in pain control and symptom management, and they are available 24/7 to address your comfort needs. The patient is in control of their care and can determine the level of pain medication needed.
Absolutely. Agape’s team of medical professionals will come to you and provide everything you need to be comfortable, allowing you and your family to focus on your valuable time together. Hospice care has the potential to improve quality of life in several ways:
- Eliminating the need to go to the clinic or emergency room: With hospice care, you can receive medical attention and support in the comfort of your own home.
- Ensuring the patient’s goals and wishes are being met: Agape Hospice ensures that the patient’s goals and wishes are at the forefront of their care. The care provided is personalized and tailored to meet the specific needs and desires of the patient.
- Eliminating out-of-pocket medical expenses: Hospice care covers the cost of medical expenses related to the terminal illness, relieving the patient and family of the financial burden.
- Providing personalized care: Agape Hospice provides personalized care that addresses not only the physical needs of the patient but also their emotional, spiritual, and social needs. The care is holistic and comprehensive, aiming to enhance the overall well-being of the patient.
- Offering social services: Agape Hospice offers social services to support the patient and their family. This may include assistance with navigating community resources, coordinating support from social workers, and providing counseling or therapy services.
- Bereavement support: Agape Hospice understands the challenges of losing a loved one and offers bereavement support to help the family cope with their grief and navigate the grieving process.
- 24/7 crisis support: Agape Hospice provides the patient and family with 24/7 crisis support. If you ever need immediate assistance or have any concerns, you can reach out to their dedicated crisis support line at 213-784-2733.
By providing comprehensive care and support, hospice care can greatly improve the quality of life for both the patient and their family during this challenging time.
Agape Hospice & Palliative Care listens to our patients and designs a care plan based on their preferences for end-of-life treatment. This process known as Advance Care Planning (ACP) ensures the patient’s wishes are known and honored if they reach a point that they are unable to communicate. The Agape team will then craft a care plan that includes certain procedures or interventions that should, or should not be pursued, and honors the patient’s wishes while focusing on the quality of life. Our clinicians are experts in assessing whether a patient is appropriate for hospice, and can meet with the patient and family for a free evaluation.