Tonight we will be talking with Carly Walden of "HOSPICE PATIENTS ALLIANCE".
What to Look For
Whatever your particular situation, if your loved one is NOT getting the services needed, if the hospice is trying to talk you into transferring your loved one to their facility against his or her will, if your loved one is NOT being kept comfortable, if there is inadequate staff and you are getting exhausted while caring for your loved one, you must demand that the hospice provide the services needed to meet the needs of the family and patient, whether living at home or in any facility. The law requires the hospice to meet the needs of the patient and the family!
What to Do
It is crucial that you read all the printed literature, documents and contracts you have with the hospice. These pamphlets, brochures, contracts and papers must (by law) inform you of your rights to the various services available through the hospice. Most patients and families do NOT read all this literature, and thereby they lose their greatest protection from exploitation...KNOWLEDGE OF THE REQUIRED SERVICES. Knowing what services are required to be provided will allow you to make informed decisions about the care your loved one receives. Knowing what services are required will help you protect your loved one from exploitation.
If you are not getting the services needed to meet the patient's and the family's needs, you need to speak with the RN case manager. If you get the runaround or sophisticated excuses, you must demand to speak with the hospice's Medical Director and Manager. If you still do not quickly get proper action to correct the problem, put a complaint in writing and send it to your State's Bureau of Health Systems (which is responsible to inspect the hospice) immediately and also give a copy to the hospice.