What should I know about Medicaid planning and hospice care?

Georgia residents who are concerned about an elderly loved one who is ill or infirm and needs care will want the best for them. Finances are a frequent sticking point in ensuring that the proper level of care is provided. For those who are eligible for Medicaid, it is important to understand what services are available and how to get them. Medicaid planning may require legal assistance. This is true for many aspects of the program including hospice care for the terminally ill.

Medicaid members who are terminally ill and have a prognosis that they will live for six months or less can get hospice care. This type of care is designed to provide comfort for these individuals in various ways including spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, socially and physically. It will also help the family as they confront the situation. There are many aspects of hospice care that can be beneficial.

The person can receive nursing care, doctor’s care, counseling, social services, inpatient care on a short-term basis, medical equipment, medical supplies, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and more. The services can be provided in a facility or in the person’s home. There is also pain management to give the person comfort. Pain management – also referred to as palliative care – is a prime benefit of hospice services. Since the person has been diagnosed as having a short time to live, there will be a limit on curative treatment.

There are four levels of hospice care. With routine home care, there will be nursing and health aides. For continuous home care, the patient who requires continuous care will receive it. For inpatient respite care, the family members will be given short-term reprieves from caring for the elderly person. With general inpatient care, the goal is to give the patient pain management and treatment for symptoms when hospitalization is needed.

It can be difficult to care for an elderly loved one who is ill and for whom medical professionals are unable to provide curative care. Hospice care can help the elderly person and the family to deal with the inevitable challenges that arise as part of these circumstances. Medicaid planning is a fundamental part of that. Having legal assistance may be necessary to get the available hospice care.