Chris DiMaso | July 28, 2021
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” 2 Cor 1:3
Hospice and palliative care are unique services available to help empower you and your loved one during end-of-life. This article is to help you make a decision on what services you need and provide you with resources to move forward.
What is hospice?
Hospice is a unique service that focuses on patients and their caregivers who are facing advanced end-of-life illness. Hospice provides compassionate care for people in their final phase of life so they can live in peace and comfort. The guiding philosophy of hospice is to regard death as the final stage of life. It respects life without trying to postpone death. Hospice focuses on the needs of the person and alleviating the symptoms afflicting them, related to their disease process instead of aggressively trying to cure the disease. Hospice works as a holistic team to manage symptoms, so the patient’s final time is met with quality and dignity. Hospice care is family-focused and includes the patient and their loved ones when making decisions.
What does hospice do?
When a care provider deems hospice is the right course of action, the patient will choose a hospice agency that suites their needs. Often the hospital or nursing facility can help provide options if the family doesn’t already have a choice in mind. The patient will be visited by a hospice nurse for an evaluation. Two doctors must agree that the patient’s prognosis is 6 months or less to qualify for services. If a patient qualifies, they are admitted and services begin. An interdisciplinary team is assigned to the patient/family that includes: an RN Case Manager, Social Worker, Home Health Aide, bereavement coordinator and a Chaplain and volunteers if they wish. Often hospice agencies also have complementary therapies such as music therapy, massage therapy, aromatherapy, and beautician services. This team approach is overseen by a hospice medical director who will collaborate with the primary physician of the patient. A patient can choose to have the hospice medical director as their primary physician if they prefer.
Services offered in hospice care include, but are not limited to:
Who needs hospice?
Hospice is considered when you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an illness that will limit the length and quality of life. Speak with your care provider about all options, including hospice. Frequent reasons to consider hospice include but are not limited to late-stage dementia and Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, AIDS, ALS, COPD and others. Patients can become eligible for hospice care services when their provider deems that the natural course of illness has a life expectancy of six months or less. It is important that comfort and care of symptom management becomes the priority, and continuing treatment of the illness is no longer beneficial. Hospice care provides a level of support that is unrivaled. An interdisciplinary team of clinicians, social workers, spiritual and grief counselors, and volunteers rally around you or your loved one to meet their needs. This can range from medical treatment and cessation of pain, to coordination of services, or making peace with family and a higher power.
“At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? For many, it’s simply comfort, respect, love.” -BJ Miller
What are the options in hospice?
End-of-life care is personal and should be tailored to meet the needs and desires of the individual. This can include everything from the level of care needed to directives of where someone wishes to pass.
Hospice vs palliative care
Hospice and palliative care address many of the same issues, but can look very different on a case-by-case basis. Hospice is intended for individuals will a life expectancy of fewer than six months, where palliative care isn’t limited to this time period. Your loved one could benefit from advanced care even if their illness is not life-limiting in the near future. End-of-life goals and symptom management are crucial in both scenarios, and it is important to meet with your healthcare provider to discuss which is appropriate for you or your loved one.
Depending on the resources needed, some patients choose to remain in the home at the end of their journey. This decision is closely linked to the goals of the patient, their condition, and the amount and quality of support available. It is important to note, that the hospice benefit does not include private duty care/or around the clock nursing services.
Long-term care facilities
Facilities like Villa St. Francis offer higher levels of support and can address needs on a case-by-case basis. We offer tranquil settings both in private and semi-private rooms. Our team works closely with Hospice services to ensure pain and symptom management is addressed 24 hours a day, and our nurses and CNAs are available to take care of the patient around the clock and coordinate care plans with hospice professionals who supply supplementary care. We have social workers and spiritual care on-site. Working with Villa St. Francis and a hospice service offers a comprehensive level of care.
General inpatient care
The highest level of care under hospice is called GIP- general inpatient. A patient can qualify for this if their symptoms are unmanageable in their home. GIP is considered “the ICU” of hospice. This can occur in the hospital, but most patients prefer not to return to or remain in the hospital at end of life. Villa St. Francis has a dedicated wing, called The Hospice Suites, with private rooms that can accommodate GIP level of care, with 24 hour RN support.
Who pays for hospice?
The majority of patients requiring hospice services will be eligible for Medicare Hospice Benefit, which covers up to 100% of services. You should not defer hospice due to concerns about payment or financial concerns. Medicare covers hospice as an inclusive benefit and all services related to a life limiting illness are included up to 100% by Medicare Part A. Services unrelated to the illness are covered by Parts A and B where normal rules apply.
Little known facts about hospice
What to look for in a hospice provider.
Talk to the professionals. Your doctor, nurses, and social workers are great resources when it comes to choosing a hospice provider. Also, speak with friends and neighbors for advice, it is likely they have had the experience you can draw from in making your decision. You are encouraged to interview hospice agencies to choose the one that is best for you and your family.
Consider asking some of the following questions of the hospice agencies before making a decision:
Read more about what Villa St. Francis has to offer you and your loved one during this time.
In the journey through the golden years, regular health check-ups emerge as a cornerstone of proactive senior care, offering a vital means of maintaining overall well-being. As our bodies naturally undergo changes with age, routine health examinations become essential for early detection and prevention of potential health issues. Regular check-ups enable healthcare professionals to monitor key indicators such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and glucose levels, providing invaluable insights into an individual's cardiovascular and metabolic health. Detecting and addressing these factors early on can significantly reduce the risk of chronic conditions, ensuring seniors can lead healthier and more active lives.Moreover, regular health check-ups serve as a proactive approach to holistic senior care, encompassing not only physical but also mental well-being. Cognitive health assessments, screenings for conditions like osteoporosis, and discussions about mental health concerns are integral components of these check-ups. By fostering open communication between seniors and healthcare providers, these examinations create opportunities for personalized care plans and the management of age-related health challenges. In essence, the importance of regular health check-ups for seniors extends beyond the diagnosis of illnesses; it embodies a commitment to preventive care, early intervention, and the promotion of a higher quality of life in the later years.
The decision to seek senior care services for a loved one can feel overwhelming. With so many options to choose from, you want to make sure you choose only the best for the person you love. This is especially true if youre worried about honoring your loved ones wishes to keep living at homewhich is important to nearly 90% of adults. If you want to make aging in place a reality, youve likely come across two similar senior care options: home care and home health care.Home Care vs. Home Health Care: A Comparison GuideWhile these terms may sound alike, they actually refer to two different services. To help you get a better idea of what these services are and which is best for your family, ComForCare has created this helpful guide.What is Home Health Care?Home health care is a service that provides medical care in a persons home or place of residence. A doctor may prescribe home health care for a person who is recovering from surgery or illness as an alternative to staying at a skilled nursing facility.In these situations, a medically licensed caregiver will arrive at your home, usually for a few hours per week, to help care for your loved one. They can perform necessary medical services during these times, such as:Medication administrationWound care, shots, and IV administrationSpeech, occupational, or physical therapyWhat is Home Care?Home care aides offer personal care services to support seniors who dont have serious medical concerns. These services are flexible, meaning they can provide as much or as little care as a person needs and on a schedule that works best for them. Typically, home care is not prescribed by a doctor but is instead used as a way to help seniors age in place safely.Home caregivers can offer numerous support services, including:Personal care, including bathing, dressing, toileting, and groomingLight housekeeping & choresTransportation to doctor appointments, shopping, and moreMeal planning & preparationCompanionshipThe Benefits of Home CareHome care offers numerous, deeply meaningful benefits for older adults who require assistance with some aspects of daily life, but do not require skilled nursing care. Can Supplement Home HealthcareSome families choose to supplement a home health program with home care to cover gaps in services. Because home health aides typically only visit for a few hours each week, seniors and their families often need extra support when those aides cant be there. ComForCare is ready to be part of your loved ones care team, stepping up to fill important roles whenever we are needed.Great for Seniors Who Need Support to Stay IndependentPlenty of older adults need some assistance around the house but dont require specialized medical or rehabilitative services. With ComForCare, your loved one can remain in familiar, comfortable surroundings safely. Our caregivers support seniors in numerous ways, from preparing nutritious meals to helping out with laundry to preventing fall risks. No matter what services you or your loved one needs, ComForCare can provide them with respect for independence and dignity.Flexible Care Whenever & However You Need ItSome families only need a short break from their own caregiving duties. Others hire caregiving services for their loved ones 24 hours a day. At ComForCare, each family receives a personalized plan designed to meet their needs, schedule, and personal preferences.Home health services are typically only offered for a set period of time. Once a person no longer meets strict eligibility requirements from their doctor or insurance provider, this kind of care comes to an end. Home care, on the other hand, can continue for as long as you need and want it to.We offer a range of in-home services to suit many levels of assistance, including:Remote patient monitoring (varies by location)Respite and short-term carePersonal in-home careIn-home care for Alzheimers Disease & other forms of dementiaDevelop a True Relationship with Your CaregiverHome care can be particularly important for older adults who are at risk of isolation or loneliness. The 2019 National Poll on Healthy Aging found that 1 in 3 seniors feel lonely, which has an impact on both their mental and physical well-being. Elder care can be an effective solution.At ComForCare, we are committed to making a meaningful difference in seniors lives. Part of the way we achieve this goal is our unique, patient-centered approach to caregiver matching. We match each of our clients with a caregiver that most closely aligns with their lifestyle, personality, and needs. When you choose ComForCare, youll never be just another name on a listyoull develop a real relationship with your caregiver.Support for Chronic Conditions, Including Memory Care for DementiaWhile home health care often provides medical monitoring, usually they monitor for very specific complications that may arise after a hospital stay or serious illness. But other aspects of wellness can also benefit from having a home care aides ongoing perspective. ComForCares caregivers are trained to watch for signs of progression in chronic conditions and illnesses, from heart disease to Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia. Through our premier DementiaWise training program, our employees learn how best to help seniors and their families cope with dementia, navigate its challenges, and optimize the time that families can spend together as the disease progresses.Finding Home Care ServicesIf youre not sure what level of care your loved one needs, reach out to your local ComForCare. Our highly trained and compassionate teams can help you assess your needs and recommend a solution that fits your familys budget and lifestyle. With a wealth of resources and team members who are passionate about helping seniors in their communities, ComForCare is your partner in living your best life.Choose ComForCare: Compassionate Senior Care in the Comfort of Home. Call us today with any questions, 720-575-5576.
Deciding what type of long-term care loved ones need when they are no longer able to live totally independently is an important decision that should not be considered lightly. If given the option to live ones golden years in an institutional setting or in ones own home, the majority of people would choose their own homes.There are many instances when home care is a perfectly appropriate and less expensive care choice than nursing home placement or a permanent move to a retirement or assisted living facility.When making a long-term care decision for a sick, elderly or frail family member, it is useful to understand the benefits of in-home care services, explained Ralph Laughton, President of Heart, Body & Mind Home Care. Whether only a small amount of assistance is needed to help avoid a future crisis, or home care is required in the aftermath of a fall or acute illness, home care enables one to reside and recuperate in comfortable, familiar surroundings. Heart, Body & Mind Home Care wants to help educate the local community on the advantages of choosing home care in these types of situations.In-home care helps a frail person to live independently for as long as possible, given the limits of his/her medical condition. It covers a wide range of services and often delays the need for long-term nursing home care or serves as an aging in place solution to help seniors stay in their homes. Home care services can include:Household chores such as cleaning and preparing meals;Personal care that is non-medical, such as bathing, dressing or moving around the house;Health and medical care, such as a nurse, home health aide, or physical therapist; andSocialization through personalized Life Enrichment Activities.Theres No Place Like HomeHomes are often havens to people, representing an environment of familiarity and comfort. Home care promotes healing research demonstrates that patients heal more quickly and comfortably at home versus in a hospital or nursing home setting and there is significantly less chance of re-hospitalization when recuperation is at home. Additionally, making a decision to move into a facility and sell a home is an unalterable decision, once completed.More for Your MoneyAccording to the Genworth Annual Cost of Care Survey, on average, the annual cost to stay in a nursing home far exceeds the annual cost for home care. A good rule across the board is that eight hours a day or less of home care will be less expensive than moving elsewhere. Many people fail to realize that nursing home care and other types of long-term care are not covered by Medicare.Providing Peace of MindHome care services are delivered one-on-one, assuring more private attention than in a nursing home or a facility. There is no waiting for ones turn when care is needed. Also, using a home care agency such as Heart, Body & Mind Home Care that carefully screens and trains all caregivers and provides ongoing supervision can help provide families with peace of mind that their loved ones are in good hands.Home Care Technology that Keeps Clients Safe & ConnectedWhen an older adult or disabled individual lives alone or at a distance from family and close friends, its natural for family members to be concerned about safety and to want to feel a part of his or her care. At Heart, Body & Mind Home Care, we work with leading home care technology companies to help ensure that clients are matched with the right caregivers and to help families stay connected to their loved ones and learn more about home care services and aging care issues.Assurance of a Healthy LifestyleA home caregiver can be effective in promoting and ensuring a healthy lifestyle. Home caregivers produce healthy and nutritional meals that appeal to the individual and can also keep a close eye on the amount of food eaten. In addition, a personalized daily exercise program can be implemented and followed through, with the added safety of a qualified professional caregiver being present.Dignity + Independence = Higher Quality of LifeIn-home care fosters dignity and independence, important ingredients for a happy lifestyle. Home care (in particular, private pay home care) can offer personalized care tailored to the needs of the family and individual on any given day, whether the needs are as simple as companionship or more complex, such as personal care. With the additional benefit of accompaniment on transportation to and from various appointments, social activities or errands, home care allows families more free time together.Determining the best options for a loved ones care can be a difficult process, but there are many resources available to aid in ones decision. For more information on in-home care options available and guidance on whether in-home care is an appropriate option for a particular situation, contact Heart, Body & Mind Home Care.About Heart, Body & Mind Home CareHeart Body & Mind Home Care is committed to the principle that it takes more than just effort to provide care to another human being it takes heart. Our hearts are in all that we do. If you are interested in learning more about our compassionate home care and wellness services in Southwest Florida, including Lee, Collier, Charlotte and Sarasota Counties, please Contact Us at (866) 488-1485.Further information can be found on our web site at www.HBMhomecare.com.