End-of-life care has more become vital as more people desire better quality of life in their final days.
Hospice organizations are answering the call.
There are three companies in Enid providing end-of-life care — two for-profit and one non-profit — and while the base services are similar, each offer unique options.
Hospice Circle of Love
Chad Caldwell, executive director of Hospice Circle of Love, said there are specific Medicare guidelines by which every Hospice must abide.
“We are one of the oldest in the state, since 1983,” said Julie Nelson, public relations director for Circle of Love. She said the staff believes the non-profit organization is a community partner with no other agenda except caring for people.
To qualify for hospice care, an individual must be diagnosed with a terminal disease with six months or less to live. They may die in three weeks or three years but will continue to have the care, Nelson said.
“We concentrate on quality of life,” she said.
Hospice encourages people to maximize their lives and do whatever they want and are able to do.
“We provide the highest quality care, and the family is never charged anything,” Caldwell said.
Recent health care changes have mandated cuts in hospice funding throughout the next seven years, which will make it more difficult for the companies. Caldwell said it will be a challenge, but he believes companies like his will find ways to be efficient. Larger cities will be less affected than smaller communities due to cuts in reimbursement in those areas.
Meanwhile services continue as they have for years.
“We provide a variety of services,” Caldwell said. “It’s not just about helping the patient but their families.”
Nurse aides focus on physical care, hygiene needs and daily pain medication management. They check in with the patient regularly, he said.
“It gives the patient someone to talk to and the family. Even after a person passes away we keep in contact with the family,” Caldwell said. They use licensed counselors to tend to physical, spiritual and emotional needs.