I've read a lot here from different posters about the pros and cons of various companies in the spectrum of home care. Now I'm at the point of finding a hospice company and would appreciate some input on experiences.
This could be an at home hospice or in facility situation. I've not decided at this point, and that decision will likely be based not only on the reputation and quality of the company, but on the level of in-home vs. in-facility care. Progression of the need for hospice care is also a factor.
First, some random questions on in-home care:
Are frequency of visits dependent on diagnosis?
Other than a hospice nurse, what other staff visited?
Did you find responses to be appropriate timewise, or were there delays in addressing needs?
What were the caliber of the home care and visitation staff?
Was a hospice doctor available for abrupt changes of health, or other urgent situations, recognizing that not all "emergencies" would be treated?
Were there any morale visits, such as by a harpist, other musician, or someone with pets?
Has anyone used hospice through the VA, and if so, what was your experience?
For in facility care:
Were there adequate staff?
Were the needs of the individual attended to, or was it sometimes "hit and miss" as it often is in hospitals or nursing homes?
What support, such as music and pet therapy, were available?
Were Skyping facilities available to communicate with out of town friends and family? If not were you allowed to bring in a laptop for Skyping?
Were there any activities planned?
Were visitors freely allowed depending on whether or not the patient had any communicable conditions?
Any other comments on the pros and cons of in home vs. in-facility?
Caveat: This is NOT a request for opinions on the morality of hospice care; it's not an opportunity for someone to start another tirade against hospice. It's a preliminary request to assist in choice between in-home and in-facility.
Second, if you have any great hospice companies to recommend, or conversely, some to avoid, please feel free to PM me as I'm doing as much background checks on any candidate companies as I can.
Thanks to everyone who offers advice.