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Is Hospice the right choice?

Talk about what is important...

Most patients prefer to focus on the quality of their day to day life over living a longer life. There are many ways to focus on quality of life. In order to determine what kind of care is best, it is important to talk with your loved ones and your doctors and have an open conversation about what is important to you. This ensures that everyone is on the same page when caring for you and helping to provide you with the best quality of life.

Is Hospice the right choice?

Hospice care is health care that is a Medicare benefit as well as a philosophy. Hospice focuses on easing the suffering of terminally ill patients. This suffering may be physical, emotional, social or spiritual in nature. The Hospice team also focuses on supporting and caring for the family and friends of their patients as they, too, may be suffering. 

Hospice care strives for the best quality day to day life and is often a transition from focusing on life prolongation and aggressive or curative treatments. Choosing hospice is not giving up; it is changing the focus of the care received to one that prioritizes the comfort and wellbeing of patients and their loved ones. The hospice team has highly trained doctors and nurses who provide pain relief and focus on treating other symptoms like shortness of breath, anxiety, nausea and more. 

 

The Bosque Trails Hospice team works with your caregiver(s) to make a plan of care centered on what is most important to you and your loved ones. The plan of care will detail which team members will visit you and how often, what symptoms you have and how they will be managed and who to reach out to with questions. Your caregiver(s) provide the day to day care and the hospice team is there to support them. We have an on-call nurse and physician 24/7 to answer any questions you might have.

While many people prefer to receive hospice care in their homes, it is not uncommon to receive this care in a nursing facility or assisted living facility. 

Your home hospice team includes:

  • A board certified Hospice and Palliative medicine physician

  • A nurse assigned to you with 24/7 access to care by your nurse/physician team and on call providers

  • Grief support and counseling from the time of initiation of hospice (anticipatory grief) and for at least 13 months after the death of a loved one.

  • A social worker trained to help with any financial or social needs

  • A chaplain for spiritual needs

  • Hospice aides to help with bathing or other personal care needs

  • Volunteers for anything from reading to you or even samll errands

When is the right time?

Studies show that most people enroll in hospice too late. Those studies also show that a patient receives the maximum benefit of hospice, on average, after being enrolled for 3 months. The best time to seek hospice services is when you and your loved ones are ready and when your healthcare providers think you qualify. You can always get an informational meeting with hospice to learn more and see if you qualify.

If you enroll in hospice and your condition improves or you change your mind and would like to pursue more curative treatment, you can come off of hospice at any time. You can then come back onto hospice at any time. You can also change your hospice care provider if you wish. It is important that you feel like your hospice care team is a great fit. 

What is included in Hospice care?

  1. Medications related to the terminal illness and symptoms that are managed by your nurse/physician team

  2. Home durable medical equipment such as hospital beds, walkers, oxygen, bedside commodes and more

  3. Personal care supplies such as gloves, wipes, adult diapers, chux

  4. 24/7 access to care by your nurse/physician team and on call providers

  5. Limited physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and nutritional counseling

  6. Respite care (up to 5 day inpatient care in a Medicare approved nursing facility) for relief of caregivers. Caregiving for a seriously ill loved one can be exhausting and sometimes caregivers need rest or to go out of town for short periods of time. Respite can be used more than once.

  7. Increased care for worsened symptoms with continuous home care or inpatient care if needed.

  8. Grief support and counseling from the time of initiation of hospice (anticipatory grief) and for at least 13 months after the death of a loved one.

Hospice Levels of Care

There are four levels of hospice care:

  1. Routine home care: hospice care in a patient’s home ( this might be a home, a skilled nursing facility (SNF), or an assisted living facility). Routine home care is the level of care provided when the patient isn’t in crisis. 

  2. Continuous home care: Hospice patients can get continuous home care only during brief periods of crisis and only as needed to maintain the patient at home when both of these apply:

    • The patient gets hospice care in a home setting that isn’t an inpatient facility (hospital, SNF, or hospice inpatient unit)

    • The care consists mainly of nursing care on a continuous basis at home  

  3. Inpatient respite care: the patient elects to get hospice care in an approved inpatient facility for up to 5 consecutive days to give their caregiver a rest.

  4. General inpatient care: the patient elects hospice care in, and is approved for, an inpatient facility for pain control or acute or chronic symptom management, which can’t be managed in other settings.

How does a referral work? Who places it?

You or your healthcare provider can place a referral.

Step One:

Fill out the referral form and we’ll contact you to help you learn more about the process and schedule a no-obligation consultation.

 

Step Two:

Our admissions coordinator will promptly contact all responsible parties to coordinate family consultations and/or patient assessments.

 

Step Three:

Our admission team consults, evaluates and initiates care, if appropriate. Bosque Trails Hospice team will bring the care to wherever you call home.

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