Posted by Pamela Bratton on Jun 18, 2018
Michelle Bailey and Shirley Price of Hospice Austin share some excellent information on how hospice care works and how you can do advance care planning.  Advance Care Planning is your plan for what happens when you can't be your own advocate.
Here's some great take-aways from the program:
* Hospice provides comfort care, support for family members and peace of mind
* Hospice manages symptoms - there is no curative treatment or treatment drugs, only doing pain management on patients who are disease eligible, meaning there is no cure.
* Hospice can be utilized at home, in the hospital or assisted care facilities.
* Hospice can provide equipment, medication, nurses, assistants and provides 24-hour access to a hospice nurse while in hospice care
* Hospice Austin has the Christopher House, which is an end of life facility for patients with an acute level of symptom management issues.
* In evaluation of who should enter care, a 6-month prognosis is the basis (is it reasonable to expect them to pass in 6 months), some patients last longer
* Hospice Austin supports a bereavement camp for minor children to equip then with the tools they need to cope.
* Medicare regulates hospice care and 100% of hospice care is covered under Medicare part A as well as most insurance plans have good coverage for hospice care.
* You need a physicians order, medical records and it is always best if the patient is able to arrange for their care before becoming unresponsive.
Hospice Austin has over 400 volunteer in their huge service area of Travis, Caldwell, Bastrop and Hays counties.  However, they are short of volunteers in the Dripping Springs area. Volunteers are needed in many functions:
* Stuff envelopes
* Cut patient hair
* Licensed message therapy
* Acupuncture
* Read to patients
*Shop for families
* 11th hour volunteers - those willing to sit with patients while actively passing.

To volunteer for hospice in Dripping Springs, reach out to:

Michelle Bailey, Hospice Representative or 737-346-9940

Shirley Price, Advance Care Planning Director or 512-348-4789