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What Is Hospice?

What is Hospice? 

  • What is Hospice?
    Hospice is a team based service provided for terminally ill patients and is focused on pain relief and management of symptoms. Rather than a focus on curing the disease, hospice works together with families or caretakers to provide comfort to the patient.
  • Who Qualifies for Hospice?
    A person qualifies for hospice when they have a terminal illness, this means they have a limited life expectancy. A doctor can determine if their illness is termimal and if they have 6 months or less to live based on the how the disease normally progresses. When a doctor determines a patient is elibigle (they will likely live less than 6 months), a referral for Hospice can be given.
  • What is the First Step in Getting Hospice Care?
    Eligibility for Hospice will be determined by a Physician. Patients must be terminally ill with a prognosis of 6 months or less to live. You can request a hospice evaluation if you do not already have a referral. Once the Physician has certified to the Hospice Provider that the patient is eligible and likely has 6 months or less to live, an appointment can be made with the Hospice provider. At the appointment, the patient will be evaluated by the Hospice and a plan of care can be created together with the family.
  • Is Hospice Giving Up?
    Hospice is not giving up. Hospice is an opportunity to take control of the last part of your or a loved ones life and choose to make it as comfortable and meaningful of a time as possible.
  • Where does Hopsice Happen?
    Hospice happens wherever the patient resides or is most comfortable. This is most often in their own home. Hospice can also happen in assisted living residences or nursing homes or even in the hospital if needed. Hospice is a service and therefore is brought to the patient wherever they may be.
  • Who Makes Up the Hospice Team?
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  • How Often Does the Hospice Team Visit?
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  • Will My Doctor Still Be My Doctor During Hospice Care?
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  • What Are "Levels of Care" in Hospice?"
    There are 4 different levels of care in Hospice. A patient may stay within one level the entirety of their time or they may move between levels. They are as follows: Routine Home Care Continuous Care Inpatient Care Respite Inpatient Care Routine home care is the regular weekly visits by the various members of the hospice team Continuous care is extended care in cases where pain or symptoms are acute and need additional help to be controlled, this can be for up to 24 hours. Inpatient care is reserved for when symptoms or pain cannot be managed in the home, the patient can be temporarily moved to a hospice bed in a hospital or other inpatient facility. When the patient is once again stable they can return to their home and routine care. Repsite care provides relief to caregivers. Patients can be moved to an impatient facility for several days and recieve 24 hour care to give caregivers who may be burned out a break.
  • Palliative vs. Hospice?
    Hospice is by default palliative, they are both team based approaches focused on the relief of suffering and maintaining a higher quality of life. Patients with serious illnesses can recieve palliative care while still seeking a cure and it is not prognosis based. A prognosis is a forecast of how long a patient will live based on the normal progression of their illness. Hospice requires a prognosis of 6 months or less life expectancy and is not curative course. This means patients are no longer seeking a cure for their illness. Palliative care is a component of hospice care.
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