Hospice care services vary according to provider. Some groups offer extensive programs, while others have a limited number. Common services across the country include residential, hospital, and visiting hospices. The following is a simple breakdown of each type.
In home care
In home or residential care is the ideal solution for elderly people who prefer receiving treatment in a familiar environment rather than another facility. A good majority of those who go into hospice choose this option because it allows them to stay with loved ones during a very difficult time. While other hospice care facilities have regular visiting hours and other guidelines, staying at home does not. There are several advantages to choosing this type of care, two examples of which include the following:
24/7 Care – While you and other family members serve as the primary caregivers, round the clock assistance is available from the different groups providing the service. These caregivers consist of registered nurses you can call any time of the day. An in-home team is able to assist with pain management, especially for those with terminal diseases. They can also help with simple things like light housekeeping and reading, talking, and listening to the patient.
Medical Attention – Teams who attend to patients at home are also able to do most procedures usually performed in a hospital. Physicians sometimes assign the registered nurses to administer daily medications and set up IV systems. These professionals can also help a patient out in case there is a need for blood work (especially those with diabetes).
Designated Nursing Homes and Inns
This solution is the home-like alternative in case residential care is not possible. These facilities put a premium on giving patients the palliative care they need – providing relief to terminally ill patients through symptom and pain management. The goal is not to cure, but to provide comfort and maintain the best possible quality of life for so long as it remains. Proper programs address a patient’s mental health and spiritual needs in addition to ensuring their physical well-being. The corresponding services to expect from this type of hospice care include the following:
Nursing care – Similar to what the registered nurse does at home, except with the use of equipment available inside the facility. The necessary technologies allow caregivers to monitor the condition of a patient to better control their pain and other discomforts. Another component of this service includes counseling available through in-house psychiatrists and therapists.
Grief and bereavement for family members often starts once the patient enters palliative care. If you are considering admitting your loved one into such a facility, it is important you seek one that offers this as part of their hospice care services. Note that care should not end with the death of the patient. If you and other surviving family members need help with the coping process, hospices should be able to assist you as well.
These are just the basics you need to know about hospice care services. Choosing to put your loved one through this is a major decision. It is important to consult with other family members before deciding what is best for the patient.
Archie Taylor interns for a hospice care facility providing in-home hospice services.
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