The latest article from The New York Times New Old Age blog explores the ins and outs of this question. Author Judith Graham offers tips for preventing the conflicts that may naturally arise when hospice care services are brought into assisted living.
The first order of business, says Graham, is good communication between all the parties involved: families, the individual receiving services, assisted living staff, hospice caregivers, and any other paid caregivers. With so many people involved, the potential for miscommunication is definitely there.
Graham’s other tips cover the importance of self-education, being clear about expectations, having a plan, knowing what will happen in a crisis situation, and becoming familiar with all the people involved in your loved one’s care. Read the full article for details on each of these important recommendations.
Not all assisted living communities allow residents to bring in hospice care services. As each state regulates assisted living differently, be sure to ask (if considering this level of care for yourself or a friend/relative) if this is a possibility. Some communities that are connected to larger health care systems offer their own hospice provider’s services to residents and will not allow the family/individual to choose their own provider. If having the choice is important to you or your loved one, make sure to determine the community’s policy on this issue before you move in.