Hospice care also known as comfort care is an option provided by doctors to patients who are unlikely to live more than six months.
It aims at treating symptoms and providing optimal comfort to the patient. This way they can enjoy a good quality of life for the remaining days on earth. Your doctor will decide the level of hospice care you need depending on your situation.
Some people may need all four levels and others just one level. Each level of care is unique. In this article, we will discuss the four types of crisis hospice care and how to identify those eligible for such services.
- Routine home care
This type of care is provided at home or where the patients live. It is best for patients who are not in a medical crisis.
Your caregiver will bring the services you need to you at home, in a nursing home, memory care, or an assisted facility. The care is aimed at boosting your comfort and quality of life to the maximum.
The services offered include nutritional services, emotional and spiritual counseling for the patient and family, therapeutic services, Medications for pain and other symptoms among others.
- Continuous home care
This type of care is given to those with severe conditions that require a high level of care such as extreme nausea and vomiting, anxiety and panic attacks, chronic pain that isn’t going away, and more.
The patient receives nonstop nursing care for at least 8 hours a day to ensure their stay at home is easier. The nurses work hand in hand with other members of the hospice team as well to provide maximum support.
This type of care is also beneficial to the caregiver as it gives them more opportunity to focus on other family roles.
- General inpatient care
Inpatient services are necessary where the symptoms can no longer be treated at home. At the hospital, the patient can receive treatment, medications, and around-the-clock support.
The aim is to stabilize symptoms and manage severe pain so that the patient can go back home. Where going back home isn’t an option, patients end up spending the rest of their days in an inpatient center where it is safe and neutral.
Family members and loved ones are allowed to visit and comfort the patient often so that they don’t feel abandoned.
- Respite care
Caregivers go through a lot of stress and pressure while taking care of their loved ones in a hospice.
Respite care is meant to offer relief to family members by providing them with the needed break. The patient is taken to the hospital for a short period o that the caregiver can rest.
Respite care is also a good option for patients who do not qualify for inpatient or continuous care yet the family is having a hard time. Read more here https://www.statpearls.com/ArticleLibrary/viewarticle/23004.
For one to qualify for hospice, a physician must certify that a patient is terminally ill and they only have approximately six months to live.
Some common illness that falls under this category includes AIDS, renal disease, cancer, liver disease, dementia, cardiopulmonary disease, congestive heart failure among others. Here is a list of more conditions that meets hospice eligibility criteria.
- Frequent hospital visits within the last 6 months
If a patient has been to the ER or in and out of the hospital frequently within the last six months, it can be a sign that the condition has worsened and is headed towards the end-stage. At this point, additional help is required.
- Consistent weight loss
Excessive and continuous weight loss is an indication that the disease has progressed and the patient may not be around for long. If a person loses about 10 percent of their overall weight in six months, special care may be necessary.
- The patient is diagnosed with a life-limiting condition
Patients whose life expectancy is less than six months generally qualify for hospice. Nonetheless, some measures may apply for specific disorders.
For instance, cancer patients must show a Palliative Performance Score of 70 percent or less to be eligible. Patients who don’t respond to therapy or any cancer medication also fall under this category.
Still, not all types of cancer require the presence of these criteria to be termed as eligible. Patients with small-cell lung cancer or pancreatic cancer are often considered eligible straightaway.
- Increase in weakness & fatigue
Excessive weakness, somnolence, and fatigue are also a sign of disease progression. Such a patient is eligible for hospice care. Click here to read more.
If you’re considering hospice services, consult with a professional. Providing care for terminally ill patients is not easy so you might need a good support system. The right hospice care will provide you with all aspects of comfort including nurses, doctors, grief counselors and chaplains, volunteers, home health aides, and more.