Hospice in Huntsville, AL

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Huntsville Alabama Hospice Care: How to pay for Hospice Care, Licensing and Regulations, and Questions to ask

The city of Huntsville is the largest city by population in Alabama. This city is known for its contribution to the fields of technology, space, and defense industries. There is a major presence here with the Army’s Redstone Arsenal, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and Cummings Research Park. Huntsville also offers a broad base of manufacturing, retail and service industries. Huntsville, Alabama is a fantastic place to retire. The cost of living is below the national average, and the quality of life is outstanding. The community boasts an abundance of restaurants, entertainment, and retail options along with the natural beauty of parks, trails, and greenways.

Signs it may be time to look into hospice care

  • Your loved one has made multiple trips to the emergency room. 
  • The condition continues to progress, affecting quality of life. 
  • The individual has been admitted to the hospital several times in the last year with the same or worsening symptoms. 
  • Does loved one wish to remain at home, rather than spend more time in the hospital. 
  • Your loved one has decided to stop receiving treatment.

What is Palliative care and respite care and how are they different from hospice?

Let’s discuss what makes them different:

Palliative Care

Palliative care refers to any care that alleviates symptoms, whether there is hope of a cure by other means or not. Both palliative care and hospice care are intended to provide comfort for the individual and family. This care focuses on easing pain and discomfort to help people have the highest possible quality of life. It is appropriate at any stage of life, not just end of life. 

Respite care

Taking care of a loved one who is terminally ill can be exhausting and emotionally draining for family members, and especially if family members are the caregivers. Respite care provides relief for those looking after the terminally ill individual. They may be checked into temporary hospice and provide a much needed break for family caregivers.

Hospice 

Hospice care is an option for people who have a life expectancy of six months or less. In place of ongoing curative measures, hospice involves palliative care (pain and symptom relief), enabling the individual to live their final days with purpose, grace, dignity, and support from family and staff. The purpose is for the individual to spend their final days in a comfortable, familiar environment, with their loved ones enabling them to focus their attention with help of staff. Some hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities offer hospice care on-site – however, it is most often provided in the person’s home. 

About Hospice in Huntsville

Alabama hospice care is a concept of care, not a specific place of care. It is for those who have been living with a terminal illness or only recently received a serious diagnosis of six months or less life expectancy. This specific type of care is there to ease the burden of 24-hour care. It provides a respectful, comfortable care setting for your loved one’s final months and weeks or days. It is an option to consider and can be especially helpful for families, or those seniors without family to provide end-of-life care.

Considerations when looking for care in Huntsville

Huntsville is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the state, its population being 216,963 people. It’s home to many museums, historic sectors, festivals, art galleries and shopping centers. These features and more have led to Huntsville becoming a preferred location for senior citizens to retire, so the need for senior care in Huntsville is significant. There are nearly 70 centers that provide hospice care in the area allowing for you to pick the right fit for you and your family.

The hot season is from May to September, with an average daily high temperature above 81°F. The cool season from November to February, with an average daily high temperature below 57°F.

Cities near Huntsville

  • Harvest – 19 miles north of Huntsville
  • New Market – 16 north of Huntsville
  • Athens – 34 miles west of Huntsville
  • New Hope – 19 miles east of Huntsville

How to pay for Hospice Care?

Medicare, private health insurance, and Medicaid (in 43 states) covers hospice care for patients who meet eligibility criteria.

Private insurance and veterans’ benefits may also cover hospice care under certain conditions. In addition, some hospice programs offer healthcare services on a sliding fee scale basis for patients with limited income and resources. To get help with your Medicare questions call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visit www.medicare.gov. Additional information about how to pay for hospice care can be found at the Public Policy Institute of the AARP.

Who Pays for Palliative Care?

Medicare, Medicaid, many insurers, and healthcare plans will cover the medical portions—physician and nurse services—of palliative care.

Veterans may be eligible for palliative care through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Check with your doctor and healthcare plan to see what insurance will cover in your particular situation. Unlike the comprehensive hospice benefit, there is no comprehensive palliative care benefit.

Questions and inquiries

Is Hospice only for those who have cancer? 

No. It is for anyone with a terminal illness who has been given a prognosis by their doctor of six months or less.  

Do only elderly people use these services.  

It is for all age groups during the final stages of their life. The intention is to allow people to enjoy the closeness of family and a comfortable environment in the last stages of their life.  

Do people on hospice die immediately? 

This care does not hasten death. Though, studies have shown people often live longer than those with the same or similar illnesses who do not choose hospice. 

Are all hospices the same? 

The United States offers thousands of hospices. Most engage in Medicare, which requires certain services for the person in care. So, there is a standard operating procedure.  

How can I afford Hospice care? Is it expensive. 

Hospice care is covered by Medicare Part A, and your personal insurance. 

Is Hospice is only provided in the individual’s home? 

NO, Care is provided wherever the person is, which could be a long-term care facility or a hospital. Being take care of at home is always an option. 

Local Hospitals and Care Providers

Crestwood Medical Center

1 Hospital Drive Southwest, Huntsville, AL 35801

Huntsville Hospital Medical Mall

1963 Memorial Pkwy SW, Huntsville, AL 35801

Huntsville Hospital

Huntsville, AL 35801

Alabama Department of Senior Services – LSA serves low-income people by providing civil legal aid and by promoting collaboration to find solutions to problems of poverty. LSA offices handle civil cases only.

Alabama Department of Human Resources Adult Protective Services Division – The mission of the Adult Protective Services Division is to support and enable County Departments to protect elderly and disabled adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation and prevent unnecessary institutionalization.

Alabama State Health Insurance Counseling Program – The Alabama Health Insurance Counseling Program gives free information and assistance on Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap, long term care, supplemental insurance, and other health insurance benefits.

Legal Services Alabama, Inc – LSA serves low-income people by providing civil legal aid and by promoting collaboration to find solutions to problems of poverty. LSA offices handle civil cases only.

Eldercare Locator This is a great resource to search for specific care in specific counties and cities. This database is a nationwide resource that connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources. Connect with services such as meals, home care or transportation, or a caregiver education or respite from caregiving responsibilities. The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the Administration on Aging (AoA), an agency of the U.S. Administration for Community Living.

Medicare provides a search feature to find & compare providers near you, most senior housing and care providers are included on CareAvailability.com. Find & compare plans in your area. Determine if you qualify for premium savings

Medicaid offers information on how to apply for Medicaid, eligibility criteria, links to local state offices, and additional resources

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. Whether you are living with Alzheimer’s or caring for someone with the disease, information and resources are available.

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Written by The Care Availability Team
Experts in the senior care & retirement living industries

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