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A terminal illness diagnosis brings many challenges, but it doesn’t have to mean leaving your home or being without the support of those you love. In-home hospice care helps you or your loved one remain in a familiar, comfortable environment during the final days, weeks, or months of life.

What Is In-Home Hospice Care?

Patients and families often refer to hospice services as “going into hospice,” but hospice and palliative care aren’t limited to a specific place.

Instead, hospice care is provided at the location the patient resides, whether that’s the individual’s home, a family member’s residence, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home. Short-term hospice services may also be available during a temporary hospital stay, with services shifting back to the patient’s home once the inpatient hospital stay ends.

Families who want to access hospice benefits at home are able to do so, and the hospice team can schedule services that take into account your individual needs. Family caregivers work with the hospice team to coordinate caregiver duties.

The general idea of hospice care is to provide comfort and support during the end of life. This doesn’t mean forgoing any medication or medical care, though. The focus simply shifts from trying to cure or reverse the disease to manage symptoms and getting extra support for everyday tasks.

Health care provided by the hospice team is coordinated with the patient’s medical provider and includes help with everyday living tasks as well as emotional and spiritual support. The idea is to ease symptoms and improve quality of life. Home hospice benefits include setting up medical equipment, providing necessary medical supplies, skilled nursing care, and providing medications for terminal illness and related conditions.

The Benefits of Hospice Care at Home

The biggest benefit of hospice care at home is the ability for patients to access care in a place that feels familiar. Seventy percent of patients prefer to go through the end of the life process at home, and hospice care services can help achieve this goal. Our hospice team can help with tasks that make independent living easier and improve the quality of life when faced with a serious illness.

Family caregivers often prefer in-home hospice care for convenience as well. Hospice services provided at home reduce the need for travel to and from hospitals and make it easier for family members to be with their loved ones during this sensitive time.

Family members who provide care for a loved one often experience caregiver burnout, and hospice care at home helps relieve the stress. For a temporary break from caregiver duties, Three Oaks Hospice provides respite care, a 5-day stay provided in a Medicare-approved facility that allows the caregiver to rest and recover from the demands of daily in-home care.

Some things our hospice care team can provide on a temporary basis include:

  • Hospice care includes visits from all members of the interdisciplinary team, including volunteers.

  • Personal care, including assistance with daily living tasks such as bathing, dressing, and feeding the hospice patient

  • Homemaker services such as meal preparation, grocery shopping, housekeeping, and pet care

Types of Hospice and Palliative Care

Hospice and palliative care are both available as in-home services. Palliative care may be appropriate for patients with a serious illness who continue to receive treatment but need temporary assistance with symptom management. Palliative care includes coordination with the patient’s medical team and may be appropriate for those with a diagnosis such as cancer or dementia. Your medical provider can help determine whether hospice or palliative care is appropriate for your situation.

When patients and their families choose in-home hospice care, they can take advantage of a wide range of services. Some of the types of care provided by Three Oaks Hospice include:

  • Visits by a registered RN case manager at a frequency determined by the patient’s needs and endorsed by the interdisciplinary team.

  • Bereavement counseling by a trained therapist to help the patient and family members work through the grief of a terminal diagnosis. Bereavement counseling for family members is also available for an additional 13 months after the patient passes if needed.

  • Chaplain visits as requested to provide spiritual care in the face of serious illness

  • A detailed care plan created by a social worker to address the patient’s psychological and emotional needs

  • Assistance with paperwork, financial tasks, and other duties involved with caring for a loved one

  • Visits from volunteers who can assist with meal preparation, grocery shopping, monitoring, medication administration, companionship, and appointment scheduling

  • Scheduled visits from a Hospice Aide who can help with personal care and show relatives how to perform common caregiver tasks and better support the hospice patient

  • Coordination with the hospice patient’s medical care team

  • Help with managing and monitoring symptoms to help reduce pain and discomfort

Accessing Palliative Care and Hospice Care at Home

Medicare and Medicaid insurance plans include a hospice benefit that covers in-home care for hospice patients. Likewise, private insurance plans also provide coverage for palliative care benefits. Patients and their families may need to get a referral from the patient’s primary care physician to access insurance benefits.

Contact Accord Hospice 847.780.4594 today to find out more about getting hospice care services and having peace of mind knowing your terminally ill family member can spend the end of life in a familiar environment surrounded by loved ones.

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