Feel free to call us at (888) 258-5129 to answer any and all questions you may have about hospice or our specific services.
1. What Is Hospice Care?
The hospice approach provides “palliative” care to individuals diagnosed with a life-limiting illness in addition to supportive services to their loved ones. Generally, hospice care is provided by an interdisciplinary team of professionals comprised of the hospice staff, volunteers and the patient’s physician and can range from intermittent home-based care to inpatient situations with emphasis on maintaining the patient in their most comfortable, familiar and least-restrictive environment – their home.
2. When Should a Decision About Entering a Hospice Program be Made and Who Should Make It?
At any time during a life-limiting illness, we believe it’s appropriate to discuss all of a patient’s care options – including hospice. By law, the decision belongs solely to the patient, and as such most hospices accept patients facing a life-expectancy of six or less months and who are referred by their personal physician.
3. Should I Wait for our Physician to Suggest the Possibility of Hospice…or Should I Bring it up First?
The family and patient should feel free to discuss hospice care at any time with the physician handling the case, other health care professionals plus clergy and friends.
4. Is All Hospice Care Alike?
Absolutely not. While many hospice services providers offer some basic level of care, the quantity and quality of all services can vary significantly from one hospice to another. To locate the most ideal hospice match for a patient’s needs, ask your doctor, health care professionals, clergy, social workers or friends who may have received care for a family member.
5. How Many Levels Of Hospice Care Are there?
There are four levels of hospice care practiced by facilities such as Royal Home Companion in the United States. Every patient receiving hospice services falls into one of these four categories; a hospice patient can move from one level to another and back, however, depending on the services required to fulfill his or her needs. The bottom line is that the needs of the patient – our primary concern – will determine their individual level of care. These levels encompass:
- Routine Home Care – Patient at home with symptoms controlled
- Continuous Nursing Care at Home – Patient at home with uncontrolled symptoms
- Inpatient Care – Patient in facility with uncontrolled symptoms
- Respite Care – Patient at facility with symptoms controlled
6. Can a Hospice Patient Who Shows Signs of Recovery be Returned to “Regular” Medical Treatment?
Of course – and this would be a miraculous revelation! If the patient’s condition improves and the disease/illness shows signs of going into a remissive state, he or she can be discharged from hospice and returned to aggressive applications of therapy…or just go on about his or her daily life.