If you're considering hospice care for a loved one, and are curious about what it involves and how it can help, below is some information to get you started:
Types of Hospice Care and Important Information about Hospice Services
Routine Home Care
Routine home care is the most common hospice service and typically includes RN case managers, LPNs, home health nurse aides, social workers, community educators, spiritual care specialists, volunteers and more. As the name implies, routine home care is delivered in the patient's home, whether that is a traditional residence or a facility in the realm of senior healthcare services, such as a nursing home, personal care, assisted living center or retirement living community.
Continuous Home Care
Continuous home care is far more intensive than routine home care and involves continuous care to manage a patient's acute symptoms. Patients in need of this type of hospice care typically receive around-the-clock care from hospice caregivers.
General Inpatient Care
General inpatient care is typically for treating symptoms that cannot be managed through home care. General inpatient hospice care is usually short-term and can be provided in a few different places. Sometimes, it is provided in the hospice unit of a hospital. It can also be provided in a long-term care residence. For many patients and their families, the most peaceful setting for this type of hospice care is in a free-standing hospice facility.
Respite care is short-term inpatient care that is intended to be for the benefit of family caregivers as well as the patients. Caring for a critically or terminally ill loved one can be difficult for all involved, and sometimes the patient is admitted to a hospice unit for a short period of time when they need the kind of care that cannot be provided in the home, or when the family caregiver needs a break. Respite care typically has a limit, in terms of number of days, and can usually only be delivered on occasion. It is for qualifying hospice patients, in accordance with Medicare guidelines. Not all inpatient hospice services offer respite care, but it can be a relief for patients who require more intensive care on occasion.
Specialized Care Plan
If your loved one is in hospice care, they will have a team of healthcare professionals work with them and their family to come up with a care plan that best suits your loved one's wants and needs. The doctor will help to determine the plan of care, and the nurses and aides will monitor your loved one's condition, administer medication, assist with basic personal care needs and address other symptoms. There is typically an on-call nurse who will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as well as, depending on your loved one's needs, other healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational and speech therapists.
Care Location Options
When considering hospice care, it's important to know this type of care is most often carried out in your loved one’s home environment, but it can also be received at a facility such as a hospital, long-term care residence or free-standing hospice facility. To give you some examples of your options, our in-home hospice care and inpatient hospice care locations .
Concordia Washington of Hospice In-Home Hospice Care
Concordia Washington of Hospice Inpatient Hospice Care at the Donnell House
Good Samaritan Hospice In-Home Hospice Care
Good Samaritan Hospice Inpatient Unit at Cabot
Good Samaritan Hospice House in Wexford
Good Samaritan Hospice at Heritage Valley
Spiritual Care Services
Another way hospice care can help your loved one is by providing spiritual care services to them and their family. Faithful caring can address the emotional and religious needs of individuals regardless of their beliefs, and usually involves the support of chaplains or other spiritual care counselors. There are many reasons patients choose to receive spiritual care, such as to help them come to peace with a critical or terminal illness or to receive emotional support with their hopes, uncertainties or fears. Depending on your loved one's wants and needs, they, as well as their family, may benefit from this service offered as part of their hospice care plan.
A Final Word on Hospice Care
Many people have misconceptions about hospice care. The goal of inpatient hospice care and in-home hospice care is to provide comfort and improve quality of life for those who are terminally ill. Hospice patients receive full medical care, but not curative care which is care to cure an illness. Some patients, on extremely rare cases, recover to the point where they no longer need hospice services for the time being.
At Concordia, we understand that every person is unique and needs a plan of care that is tailored to their own needs and desires. While some people may only need minor help with a few day-to-day activities, others may need constant care at all hours of the day.
For more information on the hospice services or volunteer opportunities offered through Concordia Hospice of Washington call us at 724-250-4500.You can also contact us any time via our online contact form. If you have a question about how we can help your loved one or if you want to learn more about the different services we offer, you can also visit the care levels and services page of our website for details on hospice services provided by Good Samaritan Hospice, along with an overview of our full continuum of care.