Although hospice can be centered in hospitals, inpatient hospice centers, or extended-care facilities, many people in the last phases of the life-limiting disease usually receive hospice care in their home. Hospice allows the patient to live independently, receiving care in their home or place of choice.
Some hospice agencies offer both hospice in-home and in an inpatient facility. Depending on individual needs, a patient may experience the following hospice care levels (or some of them):
- Routine hospice care at home
- Continuous hospice care
- Inpatient hospice care
- Respite care
Each level of hospice meets specific needs. A Medicare-certified provider must be able to provide each of these four levels of care.
The hospice home care delivers personalized care in familiar settings of the patient’s home. However, it also provides respite care – a short-term stay at a qualified hospice facility that allows a caregiver or family members to take a break, rest, and take care of other things. Respite care is covered by Medicare and can last up to five days at a time.
Hospice care also includes grief care for family members following the loss of a loved one.
If you or your loved one are receiving in-home hospice care, you will receive regular visits by the hospice nurses. They are also available by phone 24/7.
While home hospice programs include physicians, nurses, and other professionals, the primary caregiver is typically responsible for around-the-clock supervision of the patient, staying with the patient most of the time.