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    What Is Hospice Care?

    Hospice care is a type of specialized care for someone who is suffering from a terminal illness, usually with a life expectancy under six months. The care focuses on improving the patient’s quality of life during their remaining time, on reducing their pain and making them as comfortable as possible, without attempting to cure the disease. It usually includes emotional and spiritual support as well, in addition to attending to the physical needs of the patient.

    Hospice care can be provided in the terminally ill person’s home or in a residential hospice facility, hospital, nursing home or other long-term care facility.

    Hospice care in the home can be provided for the duration of the person’s life or only during those times when the patient has a crisis and needs more care than their family member or other caregiver can provide.

    Hospice care provided in a residential facility can be provided when the patient’s symptoms can no longer be controlled at home, or can be used for respite care, when the regular caregiver needs a break or can’t cope with the situation.

    What Is Hospice Care Like?

    When you need hospice care, an entire team is usually assigned to work with you. This team will develop a unique care plan just for you to help control any symptoms or pain you may experience, and to provide you with the emotional or spiritual support you need.

    The hospice team usually consists of your family, regular caregiver if you have one, your personal physician, a hospice doctor, nurses, home health aides, social workers, counselors and spiritual caregivers. Sometimes your team may include volunteers and other professionals like speech or physical therapists, if you need this type of therapy.

    When you receive hospice care, your hospice team will make regular visits to check on you. and provide additional care or other services as needed. Members of the team are usually on call around the clock, seven days a week. This applies regardless of whether you are receiving care at home, in a nursing home, or some other type of long-term care facility.

    Hospice care is usually covered 100% by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. Under Medicare, hospice care covers medications, medical equipment, access to care around the clock, nursing, social services, and grief support, and possibly other services that are seen as necessary based on your needs.

    What to Expect from Hospice Care?

    Services

    Hospice care will vary depending on each individual’s specific needs. These will be determined by your hospice team and spelled out in a care plan customized for you. Hospice care often includes the following as needed:

    • Physician services
    • Regular visits by registered nurses and licensed practical nurses to monitor your condition, to provide care and to make sure you are comfortable
    • Home health aide and homemaker services to take care of personal needs
    • Chaplain services for the you and your loved ones
    • Social work and counseling services
    • Grief counseling for your family and friends
    • Medical equipment such as a hospital bed
    • Medical supplies such as catheters
    • Medications to control any symptoms or pain
    • Volunteer support
    • Physical, speech and occupational therapy
    • Alternative therapies like music therapy
    • Dietary counseling

    Levels of Care and Costs

    Hospice care is usually provided and the costs covered based on the following four levels established by Medicare:

    • Routine Home Care – This end-of-life care is provided when the patient’s symptoms are under control at their place of residence, whether they are in their own private home, or in assisted living, a nursing home or other type of long-term care facility.
    • Crisis Care –This type of care is provided for short periods of time when the patient experiences a medical or psychosocial crisis. This is typically provided at the patient’s residence, in a nursing home or in a hospice facility.
    • Inpatient Respite Care – This type of care is provided when the family or other caregiver needs a break. The patient can be temporarily placed in a hospice facility for up to five days.
    • General Inpatient Care – This type of care is provided by hospice centers, hospitals and nursing homes when the patient’s symptoms can’t be controlled at home.

    Introduction to Fredericksburg, Virginia and Surrounding Areas

    Fredericksburg, Virginia is 25 miles SW of Dale City, Virginia (center to center) and 48 miles SW of Washington, District of Columbia. The city is in the Washington area. There are 19,279 residents in Fredericksburg.

    Fredericksburg History

    The city was founded on land which was part of a tract patented in 1671. The community was named in honor of Frederick, the Prince of Wales and father of George III. In 1807, an overturned candle started a fire that ended up destroying half the town. In 1862, the Union forces suffered one of their greatest defeats here, in the Battle of Fredericksburg. The area was incorporated as a town in the year 1781. Fredericksburg was later chartered as an independent city in 1879.

    Fredericksburg and nearby Attractions

    • Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
    • Fredericksburg Area Museum
    • Ridderhof Martin Gallery
    • Twin Lakes
    • Shannon Green Golf Course
    • General Mercer Monument

    Things To Do In Fredericksburg

    The city of Fredericksburg provides easy access to a number of historic sites and museums nearby. Among these are the George Washington Masonic Museum, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Fredericksburg Area Museum, James Monroe Museum, and National Bank Museum. The city's numerous parks and the Shannon Green Golf Course provide opportunities to participate in a variety of sports. The Twin Lakes, Hazel Run, Golin Run, and Fall Quarry Run are some of the stunning lakes and streams worth visiting. In addition, there are several shopping centers that offer amazing deals. Fredericksburg also hosts annual celebrations including the Art Festival, Fredericksburg Pow-Wow, Greek Festival, Mayfest, Music Festival, Oktoberfest, RiverFest, Shakespeare Festival, and Welsh Festival.

    Fredericksburg Transportation

    Washington Dulles International is the nearest airport.

    Fredericksburg Higher Education

    Mary Washington College and Fredericksburg Bible Institute are the local institutes of higher education. Other institutes nearby include the College of Southern Maryland and George Mason University.