Hospice care focuses on the quality of life rather than its length. It provides humane and compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible. Hospice care in Virginia is used when you can no longer be helped by curative treatment and are expected to live about 6 months or less if the illness runs its usual course. Hospice gives you supportive or palliative care, which is treatment to help relieve symptoms, but not cure the disease. Its main purpose is to improve your quality of life. You, your family members, and your doctor decide when hospice care should begin. Below are the 4 levels of hospice.
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 provided during brief periods of crisis. When pain or other symptoms become acute and cannot be adequately managed with routine home care, continuous home care provides up to 24 hours of nursing care a day.
Caring for a loved one with high personal care needs takes a physical and emotional toll on the caregiver. On occasion, the family caregiver will need more of a break than that provided by the visits of nurses, aides, and volunteers. In these cases, the hospice provider can check a patient into a 24-hour personal care home that is staffed for hospice patients. This is covered under the hospice benefit, so the Medicare-certified hospice agency will often have a particular home that they work with. Again, inpatient respite care is not needed in most cases, but the hospice benefit does make it available just in case.
Inpatient Respite Care
Not all hospice patients need or want inpatient care, but for those who do, in-patient can provide hospice services to those already in hospitals or nursing facilities. For those who do need an inpatient hospice place and can’t be cared for at home, inpatient respite care work with local hospitals and area nursing homes.