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What to Expect in Hospice Care (Alyssa)

Photo by Micheile Henderson from Unsplash

As we grow older it becomes harder to take care of ourselves. Many children find themselves looking for better home and care options for their parents. Hospice care is a frequent choice for these people. In hospice care, the elderly are housed, fed, and taken care of. What hospice care is like changes significantly based off of the patient’s needs.

What is Hospice Care For?

Hospice care is not like an assisted living facility. Assisted living facilities are for anyone who needs help with everyday living. It provides additional support that improves a patient’s quality of life. Hospice care is for a more select group of people. Hospice care is for patients who are in their final phase of life; for example, someone suffering from a terminal illness would benefit from hospice care. The goal of hospice care is to help a person improve their quality of living during this hard time. The goal is not to continue to treat or try to cure the illness the patient might be suffering from.

What Happens in Hospice Care?

The care patients receive in hospice care is based off individual needs. explains that hospice care can include services that help family members of the person receiving the care. Family members could receive bereavement services to help them through this hard and confusing time.

Hospice care works to manage any pain the patient is experiencing. Nurses monitor and adjust any pain management as it is needed. Patients can also receive counseling to help them cope with pain or emotional difficulties they experience at this stage of life. Some hospice care services even provide spiritual support. A patient and their family can decide what services they think they need and hospice care will help take care of it.

Where Does Hospice Care Happen?

Hospice care can actually take place in the home. If a patient feels more comfortable in their own home, hospice care services can be done in their home. It can also take place in a nursing home or an assisted living facility.

What are the Different Levels of Hospice Care?

There are four levels of hospice care determined by what and how many services a patient needs.

  1. The first level is known as routine home care. In this level, a patient could receive care and extra help with any nursing services, counseling services, medications, or therapy services.
  2. The next level of hospice care is continuous home care. This type of care happens when a nurse stays with a patient in the patient’s home for anywhere from 8-24 hours every day.
  3. The third level of hospice care is general inpatient care. In this level, patients are served at a facility and no longer at their home.
  4. The final level of hospice care is respite care. At this level, the family is the main caretaker for the patient, but if the family needs a break from caring for their loved one, respite care helps the patient get into an inpatient facility to receive care for a short period of time while the family gets a break.

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