You could say that a hospice is a special place for the sick. This is the place where they receive proper medical attention. They get their much-needed emotional and spiritual care while they are in a hospice.
A hospice care aims to take care of the ill at the twilight of their lives. It is a place where old patients receive a more humane treatment of their illnesses. Sick people who are under hospice care are either in a nursing home or in a sanatorium.
Hospices started their roots in Europe and since then, it has evolved into a distinct shelter for the sick. The concept of providing hospices somehow developed into a kind of institution. Other patients prefer hospices than hospitals. They choose to spend the rest of their lives inside a nursing home.
Most patients inside a hospice have less than six months to live. They go to hospices so they could somehow extend their time in there. Old patients suffering from cancer, tuberculosis, and other debilitating diseases are its regular inhabitants. There they receive constant care, rest, recreation and even free time to do things at their own pace. Hospice care enables sick patients to maximize their remaining days before they die.
It focuses on caring any more than it aims to cure other diseases. It has its attention of giving these patients something worthwhile while they are recuperating. Hospices make their lives even better during their last days. These places treat patients regardless of race, religion or even diseases. Hospices are under Medicare, Medicaid, and has its own private insurance plans from other medical organizations.
They also have a variety of staffers under their care. Physicians, nurses, social workers, volunteers and even clergymen work for a certain nursing home. They take extra care on their patients, assisting them of their needs. They provide food, medicine, and even a coach on how to take care of the sick.
Palliative care and hospice care are both providers of care for patients with illnesses that are fatal. Two types of care providers to supplement some of the more traditional care options. Their protocols call for patients to receive a combined approach where medications, day-to-day care, equipment, bereavement counseling, and symptoms treatment are administered through a single program. However, no matter how similar palliative care and hospice care are, there are still differences between the two: location, timing, and treatment.
Palliative care is delivered mostly in an institutionalized location, such as a hospital, extended care facility, or nursing home. The institution where palliative care is administered must be associated with the palliative care team because the team is composed of doctors, nurses, and other professional medical caregivers. They will be the ones who will administer or oversee most of the ongoing comfort-care patients received. Meanwhile, hospice care is administered in the home by a team of hospice professionals. Hospice often relies upon the family caregiver, as well as a visiting hospice nurse.
There are no time restrictions for palliative care. The patient can receive palliative care any time, at any stage of the illness, whether it be terminal or not. On the other hand, hospice care is only given to patients who have a certification from a physician that they are terminally ill. Hospice care takes patients whose life expectancy is only six months or less.
Palliative care also administers treatments to patients ranging from conservative to aggressive/curative. Life-prolonging therapies will not be avoided and the palliative care team will do anything and everything to save the patient’s life. Meanwhile, hospice care treatments concentrate on comfort. Curing the patient is no longer the goal. Instead, hospice care makes sure to provide comfort to patients for the remaining days of their lives.
Palliative care and hospice care are very similar when it comes to providing care for dying people.
Hospice care typically takes place in the patient’s home or wherever possible. This permits the dying to stay in familiar, secure surroundings and close to people they know. As a hospice nurse, you will basically be making house calls to the homes of very sick people to provide physical, psychological, and spiritual assistance to both the patients as well as their families. And that means you must be at ease driving around throughout the day and going into people’s homes.
But if the patient’s family is struggling to look after the patient, you will find in-patient hospice facilities, usually situated on the top floor of a nursing ward or hospital. An in-patient hospice has beds like a hospital, but that is about where the resemblances end. There aren’t any machines, and there are no prohibitive visiting hours; family and friends are always welcome. The atmosphere is rather quiet and peaceful. Almost all of the rooms are exclusive rooms in contrast to a hospital, and in comparison to a hospital, an in-patient hospice has reasonably few beds.
Hospice care is like a transitional place where the patient and the family are joined together for the remaining days of the patient. Hospice care is almost similar to palliative care. They have the same goals which are to ease symptoms and improve quality of life of the patient as well as to prepare the family members. Hospice care is suitable when there is a life expectancy of less than six months. Whenever a curative treatment is no longer working or effective, or in some cases the patient no longer wants to continue them, hospice becomes the other option.
Your physician and the hospice team works along with you and your loved ones to create a plan of health care that fits your preferences and needs. Your plan of care consists of hospice services that Medicare includes. In the event you are eligible for a hospice care, you will have an exclusively trained team and support accessible to assist you and your loved ones to deal with your illness.
Furthermore, a hospice nurse and doctor are on-call Round the clock, 7 days a week, to provide you and your loved ones with assistance and care when it’s needed. A hospice physician is part of your healthcare team. Your family doctor or a nurse practitioner may also be part of this team as the attending medical professional to monitor your care.
Only your family doctor (not a nurse practitioner) that you’ve selected to serve as the attending medical professional-and the hospice medical director can approve that you’re critically ill and have 6 months or less to live. The hospice advantage permits you and your loved ones to remain together in the convenience of your home if you don’t need care in an inpatient facility. If the hospice team can determine that you’ll require inpatient care, the hospice team can make the necessary arrangements for your stay.
Most hospice individuals get hospice care in the convenience of their house and with their own families. Determined by your condition, you may even get hospice care in a Medicare-approved hospice center, hospital, elderly care, or other long-term care center.
Hospice care is definitely designed for those who have 6 months or fewer to live if the illness goes its normal route. If you live more than 6 months, you may still get hospice care, provided that the hospice medical director or other hospice doctor re-certifies that you’re critically ill. Hospice care emerges in benefit durations. A benefit period starts the day you start to acquire hospice care and it ends when your 90-day or 60-day period ends. For additional specific details on a hospice plan of care, contact your national or state hospice organization.
When you or your family member is in need of a hospice care, the first thing you need to do is to discuss it with the hospice organization in your state. They will be able to explain to you the process and the necessary requirements needed. Once you are qualified, your doctor will help you create a plan suited to your needs. This includes the services that your Medicare covers. The plan will include the location where you will stay, the type of medication, treatments and other services.
There will be a team who will conduct and manage the plan. They are your doctors, nurses, physical therapists, counselors, social workers, aides, volunteers and of course your family. The team will be ready and available whenever you need their services. The services also include counseling with the family members who are having a hard time dealing with the situation.
Your regular doctor is the attending medical professional who will supervise your care plan. What makes the hospice care plan a good one is that it allows you to stay in the comfort of your home. If ever there is a need for you to stay in a hospital, like the need for equipments and facilities, your team will arrange everything for you.
Hospice care is only proposed for people with 6 months or less to live. It is designed to keep the patient close to their family and his home. The patient can still acquire the services of the hospice care even if his life extends over 6 months. This will of course need the recommendation of the attending physician. However, if your health improves or you completely recover, you no longer need the hospice care.
According to a research by the Post, one in six hospices in the United States did not provide crisis care to their dying patients this year. “The lack of such care,” had written Post reporters Peter Whoriskey and Dan Keating, “suggests that some hospice care outfits are stinting on medical care, according to hospital professionals. Inspection and issue information, meanwhile, illustrate the discomfort of sufferers who have been left without proper care.” And, indeed, Whoriskey and Keating offer some experiences about failures, starting with 85-year-old Ying Tai Choi, a Tampa, Florida, woman whose nurse abandoned her an hour before she died.
What gives the Post’s research value beyond its immediate impact, though, is that the document submitted the data source it used to carry out its reporting. The Post says it examined Medical health insurance payments information for more than 2,500 hospice care companies as well as “an internal Medical health insurance count of medical care in sufferers near death and examined complaint records at hundreds of hospices.” By showing its work, the document has provided valuable leads for follow-up experiences by news organizations across the country. According to the data source, 16 percent of 43 hospice care facilities serving 22,865 sufferers in Massachusetts reported providing no crisis care this year. That percentage is right around the national average, though it is higher than any other New England state.
Under Medical health insurance guidelines, a hospice must be able to offer crisis care to its critically ill sufferers, which the Post tells us, is “either ongoing medical care at home or an inpatient bed at a hospital.” The Post is careful to point out that the mere fact that a service did not offer crisis care in a given year is not evidence that there’s anything wrong. It’s possible that none of its sufferers needed it. A further explanation: The lack of crisis care does not necessarily indicate a breach of the guidelines. But hospital professionals say it is unlikely that larger hospices had no sufferers who required such care. In other words, the data source provides questions, not answers, precisely the information news companies’ need for follow-up reports at the local level. Investigative reporting is expensive and time-intensive. The Post’s hospice care story provides reporters with a great jump start.
The very thought of hiring hospice care for a loved one is scary. Unfortunately, many family members put themselves through much more pain and pressure because they don’t want to admit that a loved one needs hospice. They continue to care for them and deny the fact that the end may be near. While hospice care is not a decision that should be taken lightly, it could offer much help, support and comfort for your family. You may want to consider hospice care if your loved one:
- Has a chronic disease or sickness that will shorten their life
- Has a condition that is incurable
- Wants to spend their last days as comfortable as possible in a setting of their choice
- Wants close relatives to participate in their end-of-life care
- Wants to terminate treatment because it is more of a pressure than comfort, or because it is no longer effective
- Was given 6 months or less to live
It’s important to keep in mind that hospice care is available for individuals who are in the last stages of an illness, not just the final days or hours of their death. They may have several more months to live, but they want to spend this time in their own home with loved ones. A hospice care agency may be contacted by your family members and a physician’s order will be arranged for final approval. Once the care staff receives approval, proper care can begin. Some family members believe that by choosing this kind of care, they are “giving up.” This is not true in any way. The main goal of hospice is to keep the patient comfortable as they go through the final stages of their sickness. Any signs of distress are immediately tended to, but sickness itself is no longer treated. Your loved one’s body will start to shut down over time, but with this kind of care, they will be kept comfortable and in the care of someone at all times.