Hospice Care

What Is Hospice?

Hospice is a unique system of care dedicated to serving and assisting individuals who are facing an illness or ailment which is terminal. Hospice also assists family members and care givers in coping with this difficult time by providing tips and moral support to help both during the time the patient is in hospice care and after they have passed. Specialized workers give family members moral support and help them peacefully deal with any grief that may come with having to worry about caring for an ill family member as well as the pain that follows.

What Does Hospice Care Mean?

Hospice Care means that the services an individual is receiving have the main goal of quality and comfort during the last days. It provides the patient with the ability to live their final stages in the best possible way they can. Hospice Care aims to provide both peace and comfort to patients. The care that hospice provides goes beyond physical—it reaches emotional and spiritual levels as well.

What Are Some Different Types of Hospice Care?

Hospice Care includes many different types of services such as respite, continuous in-home care, inpatient, routine in-home care, nursing care, spiritual services, and on-call care.

  • Respite Services: This type of care includes a trained sitter coming to the patient’s home to assist them in daily activities such as bathing, feeding, getting out of bed, cleaning, etc. It gives the family members a break so that they can do their personal daily activities but eliminates the burden of worrying about their ill family member. Respite services are most beneficial during the beginning stages of hospice as the individual is usually not in need of constant medical care.
  • Continuous In-Home Care: This type of service is provided during critical times of crisis in order to keep the patient from having to go to the hospital and eliminates the pain and hassle of transferring the individual. It also prevents the family from having to go to the hospital with their loved one. This type of care is very beneficial and often must be provided by a specially trained nurse.
  • Inpatient Hospice Care: When a patient’s symptoms become so severe that they can no longer be properly managed within their home, the individual is then placed in a facility where they will be better able to continue receiving hospice care. Doing so provides them with proper and more efficient care as they are closer to needed medical equipment and health care professionals.
  • Routine In-Home Care: This is a basic level of service provided to those who have symptoms that can safely be managed at home and does not require continuous nursing care. Those who are placed on routine in-home care usually have a prognosis that does not come with severe, painful symptoms.
  • Nursing Care: Nursing Care services through hospice is necessary when the patient’s symptoms and conditions are critical enough that they can only be managed and assessed safely by a medical professional and not solely on family members and general care givers.
  • Spiritual Services: Because an obvious decline in health is a very difficult time to accept, hospice provides spiritual services to help patients cope with their condition and feel be at peace with it. There are religious leaders available for many denominations who are willing to provide to their services to those who wish to receive them.
Hospice Care Facility

Hospice Care Facility

What Is a Hospice Care Facility?

A Hospice Care Facility is also considered “inpatient care.” This is a place dedicated to those only receiving intense hospice services and who are unable to receive such services within their home. Individuals placed in a Hospice Care Facility have symptoms so severe that they need medical equipment that cannot be available within a home setting. Patients can also be placed in a Hospice Care Facility if they do not wish to receive care within their own home for any given reason.

What Is Hospice Care at Home?

As the name suggests, Hospice Care at home is hospice services an individual can receive in the comforts of their own home. These types of in-home services make it more convenient for the patient as well as the family and care givers because it eliminates the hassle of transportation. It also allows the patient to be as comfortable as possible if they feel safest and more peaceful in their home. Nurses and other medical professionals will gladly bring proper medications and equipment into the patient’s home so they can care for them without the patient having to leave the comfort of their house.

Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care

Palliative Care is designed to help treat and relieve the patient of their pains and symptoms from any sickness or disease they may have. Hospice Care focuses more on making the patient comfortable and happy as they endure the last stages of their life rather than finding a cure.

When to Put Someone in Hospice?

Putting someone in Hospice is undoubtedly a difficult decision for all of those involved. Hospice is available to those who—after being certified by a physician—have a life expectancy of six months or less. Making the decision to place someone in Hospice can help their last months be as enjoyable and comfortable as possible if the decision is made early on. There are many people available who are willing to talk to the patient as well as the family members and care givers and help them make the decision of when to put their loved one in hospice.

How Does Hospice Care Work?

When in an individual is placed in Hospice Care, a team of medical professionals will put together a plan that is personally customized to the patient’s wants, needs, and wishes. Depending on what those needs may be, medical equipment and certain medications may be delivered to the patient’s house. After this, family members and caregivers will be shown when to use and how to operate such equipment. The hospice team will also inform the family members of what to expect, give them tips on how to cope with the difficult situation, and be there to support them even after the loss of the loved one.

How to Get Hospice Care?

In order to get hospice care, a doctor must sign a specific form that states the patient has a life expectancy of six months or less. After this, the family can call the hospice care company and set everything up from there. Representatives and other personnel are willing to talk to the family, assess the situation, and decide which type of hospice care is best for the patient and family.

Does Hospice Provide 24-Hour Care?

Depending on the type of hospice care the patient is receiving, 24-hour care can be an option. This is described most often as “continuous care.” This means that 24-hour hospice care is provided in the patient’s home or some type of facility in order to keep the patient out of the hospital and avoid the hassle and discomfort of transportation. There are also 24-hour on-call care options available so that a family member or caregiver can get in contact with a medical professional during anytime of the day or night for any given reason.

How Much Does Hospice Care at Home Cost?

After traditional coverage, the cost of Hospice Care at home can range anywhere from $100 to $500 each month depending on the services needed, the frequency of visits, and the type of medications needed. Some patients may be eligible to receive Hospice Care at no personal cost to them depending on their insurance company.

How Long Can a Person Be on Hospice Care?

Typically, a person receiving Hospice Care has a life expectancy of six months or less. Even if the patient lives longer than six months, they can still be eligible for continued hospice care as long as a physician recertifies the patient and their prognosis.

What Are Some Services Offered Through Hospice Care?

Hospice Care offers many different services for both the patient and the family. Some of these services include nursing services, providing medical equipment, supplying medications, counseling for the patient and family members, respite care, therapy, and home-health type services to aid in day to day activities such as bathing, changing clothes, light housekeeping, and preparing meals. Hospice Care services for family members are still available for a while after the patient passes in order to ensure that the family members are able to peacefully deal with their grief.

Who Pays for Hospice Care at Home?

Those who are placed in hospice care are dealing with enough stress, and financial burdens should not be added to this heavy load. That is why there are many different health plans that provide full or almost full coverage for hospice patients. The most common is Medicaid and Medicare. More information on how to enroll in these coverage programs can be found by going to their website. Representatives from those companies are willing to talk to family members and caregivers to give them more information and help them decide which coverage plan is the best fit for them.

What Does It Mean When Someone Is in Hospice Care?

When someone is in Hospice Care, they are enduring the final stages of a life-limiting sickness or disease. Instead of finding a cure for their illness, the patient’s main goal is now to find comfort and quality during their last days so they can be at peace. This is where Hospice comes in to ensure that this goal is met and fulfilled in the most efficient way possible so they can be as peaceful as possible in their final days.