When is the Right Time to Ask About Hospice?
Now. It is never too early to start asking questions. We often see cases where families don’t quite know what benefits they can receive with hospice services. It is best to educate yourself now instead of waiting until time is limited.
What is hospice?
The philosophy of hospice is to improve the quality of life for patients with a life limiting illness. Hospice is an option when patients and their physicians determine that future efforts to cure the illness are no longer feasible or desirable. The focus of treatment moves from curing to caring. Hospice care is provided by a specialized team addressing the medical, spiritual and emotional needs of the patient and, equally important, the family. The focus of hospice is to assure the patient is comfortable, allowing them to participate in special moments and enjoy the days ahead. Hospice is not designed to hasten death or “help” someone die, but rather to help patients live the remainder of their lives as fully as possible, on their own terms.
Hospice care can be beneficial to both the patient and the family members. Caregivers typically help take care of the patient’s physical and emotional needs. A common condition among family members acting as the caregiver is called “caregiver burnout”. This condition is caused by stress, anxiety, and sometimes depression. The caregiver role usually falls on one person in a family. They often feel guilty and go above and beyond taking care of their aging loved ones, yet forgetting to take care of themselves. Hospice provides nursing care and assistance that families need to have a better life balance. This allows the family to be the wife, brother, mother, father, son and/or daughter; instead of the caregiver.
Levels of Care
Routine Home CareRoutine Home Care is the most common level of hospice care, allowing the patient to live at home and receive services at their residence. This includes private residencies, assisted living facilities or nursing facilities. Respite CareRespite Care is designed to offer temporary relief to the patient’s primary caregiver, and is limited to five days at a time. This service can be provided in a hospital, hospice facility, or a long term care facility.
Continuous CareContinuous Care is provided in the comfort of the patient’s home. This type of care varies between 8 and 24 hours a day, being furnished during brief periods of crisis. Continuous Care service is intended to help manage pain, acute medical symptoms or patient crisis.
General Inpatient CareGeneral Inpatient Care is used to manage pain or crises that are not able to be managed in the patient’s home. This includes hospitals, hospice residence facilities or nursing facilities. This level of care is provided as determined by the Hospice Medical Director.