Most people want to stay in the comfort of their own home, especially in the last few months and weeks of life. When you know the end is coming, maximizing available time with family and friends makes sense. Being at home is not only more comfortable, but it often gives the person a better quality of life when hospice services are provided in the home.
While the idea of remaining at home seems like the best option, the truth is that home hospice care can be challenging for the family. As a result, symptom management and personal care become a high priority, with the goal to help the person enjoy the highest quality of life at this point.
Hospice at Home: Care Considerations
The most effective way to make home hospice a positive experience is to bring in the right care providers. While family members and caregivers are an integral part of this experience, loved ones can start to feel the stress and burnout without proper support.
In-home hospice is designed to support the patient and alleviate the family’s responsibilities at the same time. These services can be a gift for your loved one – so they have the most amount of independence and choice during this time. Additionally, hospice is critical to provide family members with the at-home help that is necessary for so many aspects of personal care.
No matter the location (in home or in a care community), there are ups and downs. Hospice provides full-service solutions to minimize the challenges and allow families to focus on good memories and positive experiences. The whole family has support throughout the entire journey.
What is the Cost of In-Home Hospice Care?
Some families mistakenly presume that bringing care providers into the home is too expensive. So, they wait to start hospice because they are worried about the bill that needs to be paid.
The truth is that Medicare benefits require specific services for hospice care. Private insurance also offers full-service solutions for people who need hospice. In addition, most patients have coverage available, which means that the family doesn’t need to bear the financial responsibility for these home health care services.
If you are worried about the price, then the best thing you can do is schedule a consultation to talk to a hospice provider. We’ll discuss your situation and help you determine the optimal treatment plan while maximizing available insurance coverage for these services.
In-Home Hospice Care Services
What is included when you choose in-home hospice care for yourself or a loved one? The good news is that every hospice care plan is personalized to match the unique preferences and requests from the patient and family. As a result, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to hospice services.
Here is an overview of some of the most common services included in hospice:
- Personalized care plan
- Doctor consultations and support
- Hands-on nursing care
- Medical supplies, including catheters, bandages, wound, care, and more
- Medical equipment, such as medical beds, walkers, or wheelchairs
- Medications for pain relief and symptom control
- Aides for personal care services
- Caregiver respite support
- Occupational therapy
- Speech-language pathology
- Physical therapy
- Social work support
- Nutritional counseling
- Family counseling to manage loss and grief
This is not a comprehensive list. Instead, the care team designs a personalized plan to meet the patient’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.
It’s also important to note that patients receive full-service care. If a person’s main requirement for hospice is cancer, they can continue receiving medical services for other conditions not relating to this primary diagnosis. For example, the patient will continue receiving checkups and ongoing medical support for diabetes or any secondary conditions.
Remember: In-Home Hospice Isn’t a Final Decision
Keep in mind that choosing in-home hospice care doesn’t mean that it’s the final decision for yourself or a loved one. Hospice is provided for the patient’s current needs, based on a doctor’s determination that they have six months or less remaining.
But there are times when these services help a patient improve to the point where they no longer need hospice services. In this situation, families can choose to end hospice care.
Additionally, one requirement to qualify for hospice services is that the patient no longer receives curative treatments. If new treatment becomes available, the family can discontinue hospice and start pursuing curative care once again.
Our hospice care team works with each family to determine the optimal pathway forward based on the person’s needs. We are here to answer your questions and adjust the hospice care plan as needs change. We partner with families to determine the ideal services, with ongoing review and plan changes as necessary.
Interdisciplinary Approach for Health Management
One of the main benefits of in-home hospice care is access to many healthcare professionals working together for the patient’s highest good. In most situations, there is a doctor overseeing the patient’s care, with nurses, counselors, social workers, home health aides, dietitians, therapists, and trained volunteers to support the effort.
The goal is to provide a team approach that addresses all of the patient’s needs. The hospice provider works as the main point of contact to keep all other providers up-to-date on current conditions and changing circumstances. Families and providers receive regular reports, with team meetings as needed to evaluate the patient’s current status and make adjustments as often as necessary.
Typically, in-home hospice care has one or more family members in the role of the primary caregiver. This person receives personalized training for hands-on care that is necessary throughout the day and night.
Then, hospice nurses come to the home for regular visits, as determined by the patient’s hospice care plan. Families can reach out to the hospice provider at any point for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If questions come up, all you need to do is pick up the phone to talk to a healthcare expert.
Why In-Home Hospice Care?
There’s no question that quality time with family is essential in this phase of life. In-home hospice care allows family members to spend as much time as they desire with their loved ones. In comparison, patients receiving hospice care in a facility have limited visiting hours – especially because of COVID restrictions that are happening in many locations.
Keep in mind that in-home hospice care might require that someone is home with the patient at all times. Family members can work together to find creative scheduling solutions and take turns to offer the companionship and support the person needs. Hospice care nurses and aides also provide support and respite for primary caregivers.
Learn More About Home Hospice Services
What questions do you have about home hospice services? Our team is here to answer your questions. Contact us at Avatar Healthcare for information about hospice, home health, and/or personal home care services. Call (844) 422-5528.