True or False?

 

When someone is admitted to hospice, the patient is taken to a hospice center to live out their final days.

 

FALSE!!

 

This is a common misconception. Hospice care is provided where ever someone calls home. That could be their private home, a trailer, a nursing home, or even a homeless shelter. The hospice team will come to you!

 

Hospice Care Centers, or contracted hospice beds in another facility, may be available, but there are conditions to going there and needing those services.

 

HOSPICE CARE CENTERS HAVE 3 LEVELS OF CARE:

General Inpatient Stays (GIP) are for patients that are having acute symptoms that have been difficult to manage at home. They are meant for short term stays so the hospice team can get that symptom under control, with the goal being for that patient to be discharged back home in a more comfortable state. Hospice can provide transport to and from the care center.

 

Respite Stays are meant to provide a short break to caregivers so they may rest, take care of their own needs and health, or in the event of a caregiver emergency. These stays are generally 5 days. This service may be available depending on bed availability at the care center. Transport can be arranged by hospice for these stays, however it is the patient or family’s responsibility to pay for or arrange their own transport.

 

Routine Home Care is a service that may be available depending on bed availability and specific needs, however there is a daily charge for these services and the hospice team will be working with patients and families to find other options. The hospice care centers are not meant as a place to live long term, however, in a pinch, they may be willing to work with you if there are no other viable options.

 

In-home care option:

Continuous Care or Crisis Care This option does temporarily provide a nurse or aide at the patient’s bedside, in their home, 24/7, while patient has an uncontrolled symptom such as pain, nausea and vomiting, or restlessness. Once that symptom is under better control, this service will be discontinued.

 

The routine care of a hospice patient is performed by their caregiver.

 

Hospice will come in and provide routine visits by the nurse, social worker, chaplain, and aide, but they generally do not provide shifts of care. Some hospice companies may provide a bedside vigil service during the final hours, but this is not a requirement of medicare and therefore it may vary from hospice to hospice.

 

Many people believe that when they sign up for hospice care, someone will be assigned to care for their loved one 24/7 and sadly, that is not the case.

 

Caregiving is hard work!!! If you have difficulty caring for your loved one, your hospice team may suggest that you hire additional caregiving help in the home or that your loved one be placed in a skilled nursing type facility. You can reach out to your hospice social worker for additional resources and ideas!

 

Through your journey, your hospice team will continue to make their routine and on call visits to help support you while you are caring for your loved one at end of life and they will provide medications and supplies to help keep them clean, dry, and comfortable. It’s not an easy journey, but hospice’s goal is to help you through this.

 

If you have further questions that I may be able to answer, please feel free to reach out!