Hospice in Durham, NC

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Durham North Carolina Hospice Care: How to pay for Hospice Care, Licensing and Regulations, and Questions to ask

Durham is home to several recognized institutions of higher education, most notably Duke University and North Carolina Central University. Durham is also a national leader in health-related activities, which are focused on the Duke University Hospital and many private companies. In recent years the city of Durham has stepped up revitalization of its downtown and undergone an economic and cultural renaissance. With its warm climate and friendly atmosphere, North Carolina is a popular place for seniors. North Carolina is a beautiful location for those looking at retirement and aging services. These features and more have led to Durham becoming a preferred location for senior citizens to retire and seek care. 

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 Durham

North Carolina is a beautiful place full of majestic scenery, a cheerful climate and is home to 1.75 million senior citizens. And when it comes to hospice care, being in a safe and comfortable environment is the goal, surrounded by loved ones and familiar faces. North Carolina 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. The North Carolina Division of Health and Service licenses and regulates hospice care agencies in the state of North Carolina. The North Carolina Medical Care Commission has rulemaking authority for hospice in the state. Regulations address requirements for hospices contracting with state Medicaid programs and the rules pertaining to patients.

Considerations when looking for care in Durham

Durham is the core of the four-county Durham-Chapel Hill Metropolitan Area, which had a population of 649,903 at the 2020 census. In Durham, the summers are hot and muggy, the winters are short and very cold, and it is wet and partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 32°F to 89°F and is rarely below 19°F or above 95°F.

Cities Near Durham

  • Hillsborough – 14 miles north
  • Chapel Hill – 11 miles west
  • Raleigh – 26 miles south

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 Hospital and Healthcare Providers

Duke Regional Hospital

3643 N Roxboro St

Duke University Hospital

2301 Erwin Rd · In Duke University

Select Specialty Hospital – Durham

3643 N Roxboro St 6th Floor

North Carolina Specialty Hospital

3916 Ben Franklin Blvd

Centralina Area Agency on Aging Centralina AAA serves as the lead funder for aging services in the nine county region surrounding Charlotte, NC. Direct services also include evidence-based health programs and training and education.

North Carolina Division on Aging and Adult Services The Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) works to promote independence and enhance the dignity of North Carolina’s older adults, persons with disabilities, and their families through a community-based system of opportunities, services, benefits, and protections- to ready younger generations to enjoy their later years- and to help society and government plan and prepare for the changing demographics.

The NC Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) The Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) answers questions and counsels Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers about Medicare, Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage, Medicare prescription drug plans, long-term care insurance and other health insurance concerns. The counselors on our toll free line offers free and unbiased counseling on Medicare health care products. The North Carolina SMP Program provides assistance with Medicare/Medicaid billing errors, fraud and abuse.

Senior Legal Helpline Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Senior Law Project provides free civil legal help to North Carolinians who are 60 years of age or older. Priority is given to those with the greatest need. The Senior Law Project helps with wills, powers of attorney, public benefits (Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income Program, Social Security Disability Insurance, etc.), abuse and neglect, unemployment compensation, housing (foreclosure, eviction, subsidized housing, repairs, utilities, etc.), consumer issues and wrongful repossession.

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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