Hospice Care At Home Can Be The Ultimate Comfort
Hospice care is available to qualifying patients virtually anywhere, including certain hospitals, acute care centers, and nursing homes, assisted living facilities, designated hospice houses, and in the comfort of the patient’s own home.
The Pros & Cons Of Hospice Care At HomePerhaps one of the most amazing things about hospice care is that it can be brought right into the patient and family’s home environment – whether that’s a single-family home, apartment, condo, trailer, etc. This can be a remarkable comfort because patients get to remain at home, typically in their living room, bedroom, or whichever location makes the most sense. That said, some patients can’t imagine having hospice care at home, in which case they opt for one of the alternative options mentioned in our introduction. Either way, there are “pros and cons” of hospice care at home depending on your values, needs, feelings, fears/intentions, etc. Rather than “pros and cons” which bring corporate-speak into a more sacred realm, we’ll cover the concept of advantages/disadvantages in the framework of “hospice care at home may be (or may not be) right for you if…”
How is hospice care at home different?Other than the location, there is no difference in the quality of care between hospice care at home or hospice services in another facility or hospice house. You still have the benefit of every single hospice service, including:
- Your designated hospice physician
- A team of extraordinary nurses and other healthcare professionals
- Durable medical equipment (customized bed, oxygen, walker, commode for bathroom or bedside, wheelchair, bedside table, etc.)
- Health aides to support regular bathing and hygiene care
- 24/7 hospice help/support lines operated by experienced hospice R.N.s and healthcare professionals
- Social worker/case manager
- Spiritual care team
- Grief support
- Volunteers that customize additional hospice services to the client/family needs
- Educational and emotional support for your immediate family/team of caregiver
Home-based hospice care may be right for you if…Here are some of the scenarios in which hospice care at home may be just right for you:
- The thought of moving into a facility type care (or remaining in facility care) takes the wind out of your sails
- You want to have unfettered access and connection with your family, neighbors, friends, and community
- Hospitals and medical care facilities bring more stress than ease to your state of mind/heart
- You have beloved pets and can’t imagine life without them
- You feel calmer, at ease, and have a greater quality of life when you are resting at home and the familiarity of your furnishings
- You find relief in the security that you don’t have to drive anywhere for appointments, refills, or checkups because it all happens at home.
- You prefer complete control over who comes in and who comes out of your space. Currently, facility-based care options have strict pandemic sanctions in place, which means hospice patients at home have more autonomy regarding family and friend visits than those who are being cared for in facilities or hospice houses.
Hospice care at home may not be right for you if…For some, the idea of getting hospice care at home is not a comforting thought. This may be true for you if:
- You like the security of facility- or hospice house based care where a staff of caregivers is on-hand 24/7 (Click Here to see a virtual tour of our Hospice House)
- Your home space isn’t conducive to hospice care
- You need a peaceful or quiet space to find comfort or rest, and your home is more chaotic than you feel comfortable with
- There are family systems or scenarios in place at home that do not contribute to or support your well-being or your hospice care plan
- You are okay having less control over who visits you and who doesn’t, as those parameters may change in response to current and future pandemics or public health risks.
Requirements to have hospice care at homeAgain, the staff at prospective hospice services will help you determine whether or not you qualify for hospice at home if that is your choice. Beyond the typical qualifying criteria of a six-month prognosis (which can be extended repeatedly), most home hospice services have other qualifying factors to receive hospice service at home, rather than in a facility or hospice house. This can vary somewhat from provider to provider, but typically look something like:
- There is a designated “family” member as a contact. We use the term “family” quite loosely because we know that for many clients, family extends to partners, best friends, step-children, an ex-spouse or partner, a dedicated neighbor, etc. That’s just fine.
- You have some type of non-hospice care network in place when needed. If/when you are bedbound, we need to know there is some level of care network that can be activated for you as needed since hospice care does not accommodate 24/7 or “around the clock” care.
- Your living space is safe enough for yourself, as well as hospice providers, to accommodate the full spectrum of hospice care services.