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Though we have come a long way with medical treatments and technologies, there still remain situations where a patient cannot or will not seek extraordinary measures to cure terminal illnesses and diseases. What we hope to accomplish is to explain what is hospice care, the service we generally provide, and how to determine if in home hospice is right for you or your loved one.

In Home Hospice

The definition of hospice is “a specialized form of medical care that seeks to provide comfort and maintain a patient’s quality of life (to the greatest extent possible) for those facing a life-limiting illness, disease or terminal condition.” This form of medicine tends to focus on the overall well being of the patient and their family not just the disease process. This includes social, spiritual, and emotional needs as death approaches.

Hospice care at home can provide assistance with resources, support, and information to those involved with the patient. Especially to the primary caregivers through the transition from life process.

There are many misconceptions when it comes to hospice. Though, the goal of this service is not to remedy the patient’s life-limiting illness, it is also not to hasten death. Hospice does not actively facilitate death. We come in when the patient and family have made the decision to no longer prevent the natural course of the illness or disease process. The goal at this point is to make the patient and family as comfortable as possible and help to make the remaining days of life enjoyable and fulfilled.

There are in patient facilities that provide hospice care, but many patients wish to remain home in a comfortable and familiar environment. This is what we promote at Guiding Hand Home Hospice. Our goal is to provide every opportunity for patients and families to remain at home.

Hospice Vs Palliative

Different from the more main stream palliative care, hospice is more appropriate for patients whose terminal illness provides a prognosis of lest than 6 months. Usually, all of the aggressive treatment options have been tried and have been unsuccessful, or the treatments are to discomforting for the patient to bear.

What Services Does Hospice Provide

The Medicare Hospice Benefit was passed in 1982 and includes:

  • Nursing: Once a patient is admitted to hospice, he or she is assigned an RN case manager. This person will visit and assess the patient between 1-3 times per week and is on call 24/7.
  • Medical Doctor: In certain cases, the primary care physician oversees the hospice care. At other times, it will be the medical director of the hospice program.
  • Social Worker: The patient will be assigned a medical social worker upon admittance.
  • Counseling: Patients and there loved ones have access to the Chaplain 24/7.
  • Home-health Aide: Considered a major source of help during this period is the personal home health aide. This person helps the patient with personal needs such as bathing and bathroom assistance.
  • Medications: Once admitted, the hospice provider will take over all medications related to the admitting diagnosis.
  • Medical Equipment: As with medications, these supplies are provided through the service. Including adult diapers, Oxygen, wheelchair, walker.
  • Therapists: In some instances, physical and occupational therapists will be provided to help hospice patients maintain as much Independence as possible.

Is Hospice Right For You?

Hospice care is generally appropriate for a terminally ill patient with a life expectancy of approximately six months or less. While such diagnoses are merely estimates (i.e., some patients die sooner and some live much longer), it is generally accepted that the sooner a patient can access hospice services, the greater the benefit he or she will receive from hospice care.

A patient is typically ready for hospice when he or she does not want to undertake any further aggressive treatments. The goal at this stage is to keep the patient and loved ones as comfortable as possible and to live fulfilling lives for the remainder of their lives.

Please call us to discuss your particular situation.