How to Find the Best Hospice Care at Home for Your Loved One

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There’s a saying in the 12-step community “let go and let god” and even if you’re not religious, it’s a good thing to remember when you’re putting a loved one into Hospice.

Hospice allows patients who are terminally ill or whose bodies are otherwise shutting down to die with respect. In Hospice it’s not about prolonging life or curing disease, it’s about making people as comfortable as possible.

Of course, you know that – but we say it to bring up this point: you have to be comfortable with where they are as their loved one or caregiver too.

And in some cases, that may mean finding hospice care at home. Who doesn’t want to pass peacefully in their own bed?

Here are 3 tips on finding the best hospice for your loved one.

1. Decide if Home is an Option

Some people don’t have the opportunity to pass at home. They may be in a nursing home where beds are expensive or needed by non-terminal patients.

Or maybe home is too chaotic and it would make passing in peace difficult.

In that case, you can look for a hospice center, where they have rooms your loved one can use until they pass on.

For home to be an option for hospice care, you need a few things. Like access to a comfortable place to rest, which may be a hospital bed set up in another room, in some cases.

2. Learn Where Staff Lives

Most of the time your loved one will have the same hospice nurse while they’re in hospice care. In some cases, you may even get the chance to visit with some volunteers, through Hospice’s NODA Program (No One Dies Alone).

That said, you want to make sure they can get to your loved one quickly when needed (if it’s outside of when they planned to visit).

It doesn’t matter where the Hospice office is, as much as it matters that the nurse can be to their bedside within half an hour or less.

If you live out in the country or far away from others, this may be a reason not to consider in-home Hospice. Or you’ll just have to come to terms with the fact that care will be a little slower if you need your nurse at an odd hour.

3. Know What Level of Care Your Loved One Qualifies for

Even if your loved one has private insurance and not Medicare, Medicare has some good definitions of Hospice levels of care.

The different care levels are:

  • Routine home care
  • Continuous home care
  • Inpatient care
  • Respite care

Your loved one may need all four levels of care in one week, or one the whole time they’re with hospice. Everyone’s experience is different.

Learn more about what each level of care is like, by looking at Cardinal Hospice and others local to your area.

Hospice Care at Home

When it’s time for hospice care, it’s time to start looking toward the future and maximizing the comfort of the patient.

Just because some form of hospice care at home (or in a hospital) was issued, though, doesn’t mean your loved one only has days to live.

They may have weeks or even months. Hospice is there to be a part of the care team and you should take comfort in their services when you need them.

For more information about disease management and general health, visit our article archives.