Hospice Care in Portland, OR
We seek professional guidance with every medical milestone and mishap in life. The same should be true for the end-of-life journey. Hospice care is the expert support you need to preserve your quality of life when transitioning through your final chapter.
There are four levels of hospice care, each tailored to suit the varying needs of terminally ill patients who require or request additional guidance as they move from curative treatment to a symptom management plan. Agape Hospice NW is here to help you understand the four levels so you can be informed on which is best for you or your loved one.
Understanding Hospice Care
Hospice care is designed for patients with life-limiting illnesses or diseases. Unlike curative medicine, it does not focus on improving the illness, but on how to help the patient and keep them comfortable in both mind and body as they embark on their end-of-life journey.
Hospice care encompasses several components, from medical help to companionship and support for both the patient and their loved ones. Hospice care plans can vary and are personalized to suit the patient’s needs and preferences.
Obtaining Hospice Care
In most cases, hospice care is covered by Medicare’s hospice benefit or a private insurance plan. These resources recognize four distinct levels of hospice care: routine home care, continuous care, general inpatient care, and respite care.
There is no need to choose one level of hospice care to pursue. A patient may experience all four during their time undergoing hospice care, or they may only require one.
Hospice Care at Home – Routine Care
The first level recognized as hospice care is at-home routine care. This type of hospice care enables a patient and their loved ones to continue spending their time together in their family home, where they are most familiar and comfortable. This care may also be provided in other places you deem home, such as a nursing facility, assisted living facility, or memory care facility.
What Is Included in At-Home Routine Care?
At-home routine hospice care includes a variety of services that are provided to individuals who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have chosen to receive care in their own homes. These services may include symptom management, pain control, emotional and spiritual support, and assistance with activities of daily living.
An in-home hospice care team typically includes a physician, nurse, hospice aide (CAN), social worker, chaplain, and volunteer, who work together to provide comprehensive care and support to the patient and their family to help them live as comfortably and independently as possible during the final stages of their illness.
Continuous Hospice Care
Continuous hospice care, also referred to as crisis care, is generally used when a patient’s illness worsens and becomes a crisis, with symptoms that require more intensive measures in order to keep the patient comfortable.
During continuous hospice care, the patient can receive continual support, including around-the-clock support from their hospice care team. This permits the patient to stay comfortable and allows the family to step back from their caregiver roles and focus on their family and their moments together.
What Is Included in Continuous Hospice Care?
This type of hospice care includes much of the same as in-home care, with a more intensive approach. It may include a higher level of nursing care, such as a registered nurse being on-call 24 hours a day to provide symptom management and pain control. This type of care can be given at home or in a hospice inpatient facility.
Inpatient Hospice Care
Inpatient hospice care is for more severe cases where a patient’s condition can no longer be controlled in their home environment. With Agape Hospice NW’s assistance, patients can then be temporarily transferred to a Skilled Nursing Facility or hospital until the patients’ symptoms can be stabilized and their pain is reduced. Afterwards, the patient can return home and continue in-home hospice care.
In some instances, a patient may choose inpatient hospice care during their final days rather than staying in their family home, as it provides a neutral space for their loved ones to come to spend their final moments and say goodbye.
What Is Included in Inpatient Hospice Care?
Inpatient hospice care includes standard hospice care practices with an emphasis on providing a higher level of monitoring and pain or symptom management. The goal of inpatient hospice care is to provide a comfortable and peaceful environment where patients can receive the necessary care to manage their symptoms and find comfort in their final days.
Respite care is similar to inpatient care, but only used for short-term stays. Respite care is designed to provide relief for caregivers and loved ones of the patient. During hospice care, families tend to put their own needs on the back burner to tend to their loved one. Respite care enables patients to continue receiving the hospice care they need in a safe and controlled environment while their loved ones take time to regroup and focus on their own needs that may have been neglected.
What Is Included in Respite Care?
Respite care allows the patient to continue their designated hospice care plan in an inpatient facility for short durations of one to five days while their loved ones take a break to return to their homes or accomplish necessary tasks.
During respite care, the patient’s hospice care members will continue the procedures outlined in the patient’s hospice care plan, and consistent support and companionship will be provided.
Contact Agape Hospice NW
If you believe hospice care is the right choice for you or a loved one, Agape Hospice NW is here to accommodate your needs with compassionate, nurturing hospice care services offered by experienced professionals who want the best for you and your loved ones. Contact our friendly team today to discuss how we can help.