Understanding In Home Hospice Care: What To Expect and How to Prepare
Updated: May 31
By Ana Jones - Founder, Phlex65
In-home hospice care can be an essential part of the end-of-life journey for many individuals and families. It is important to understand what to expect and how to prepare for this type of care in order to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient and their family.
In-home hospice care is an invaluable service that offers medical, emotional, and spiritual support to those facing a terminal illness. During this time, the patient is able to remain in the comfort of their own home surrounded by loved ones while receiving quality care from an experienced hospice team.
Through a comprehensive approach to end-of-life care, this team works together to ensure that the patient’s physical, mental, and spiritual needs are met. Understanding what to expect and how to prepare for in-home hospice care can help make this difficult time more manageable and allow the patient and their family to make the most of the time they have together.
What is In-Home Hospice Care?
In-home hospice care is a type of end-of-life care that focuses on providing comfort and support to individuals with terminal illnesses. During this type of care, the patient is able to remain in the comfort of their own home, and has 24 hr round the clock call in system to connect with the staff at hospice. A care manager, nurse, and homehealth aide help support the families and clients throughout the process.
The hospice team members work together to ensure that the patient’s physical, mental, and spiritual needs are met. In-home hospice care is an In-Homeinvaluable service that offers medical, emotional, and spiritual support to individuals facing a terminal illness.
Benefits of In Home Hospice Care
There are many benefits to receiving in-home hospice care, including: - The Patient Receives Individualized Care - In-home hospice care allows for a more personalized approach to care that can be customized to meet each patient’s unique needs and preferences. - There is a Focus on Quality of Life - While hospice care always focuses on quality of life, it is often the case that many other care types focus on prolonging life rather than focusing on nurturing the quality of the remaining time. - Families Experience Reduced Stress - Receiving hospice care in the home allows the family to remain together and focus on caregiving rather than having to find and navigate a new care setting. - The Patient is Able to Stay in their Home - The majority of patients receiving hospice care prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible, even as they near death. - The Patient is Given the Opportunity to Prepare - Since hospice care is focused on end-of-life care, there is an opportunity for the patient to prepare for their death and say goodbye to loved ones.
-Supplies and equipment to keep the client comfortable at end of life may include any of the following: Depends, wipes, gloves, topical soothing and body creams, chucks (mats), hospital bed, personal grooming supplies (soap, shampoo, conditioner); machines (nebulizer, oxygen, suction) etc.
Who is Eligible for In-Home Hospice Care?
Anyone with a terminal illness who does not have a short time to live (usually six months or less) may be eligible for in-home hospice care. - Individuals who do not have insurance to cover hospice care may be able to receive it through Medicare if they meet the eligibility requirements. Medicare coverage for hospice care varies from state to state. - The patient and their family must agree that the illness has progressed to a terminal stage and that life expectancy is less than six months. - The patient does not have to be receiving other care in order to receive hospice care.
What to Expect from In-Home Hospice Care
- The patient and their family will work closely with the hospice team to determine the type and level of care they receive. - The patient and family decide what comfort care activities they want the hospice team to provide. - The level of care provided is based on the patient’s needs and progresses as their condition worsens and they are no longer able to do certain things for themselves. - No two hospice cases are exactly alike, and every care plan is different.
How to Prepare for In-Home Hospice Care
- The patient and their family have an open and honest discussion about their wishes for the end-of-life journey. - The patient prepares an advance directive, which is a legal document that specifies their end-of-life care wishes. - The hospice team provides support, guidance, and resources to help the family navigate the end-of-life journey.
- Other documents may include the Phycisians Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is a legal document signed by the Physician regarding medical interventions that might include a "Do Not Resuscitate" (DNR) instructions for CPR.
The Role of the Hospice Team
- The hospice team provides medical care and symptom management - including pain management, medications, and medical supplies. - The hospice team helps the patient and family navigate the healthcare system. - The hospice team provides emotional support and companionship to the patient and family. - The hospice team provides spiritual support and guidance.
-Work with your case manager, nurse, and caregiver and ask any questions because they come to the home with a wealth of experience.
How to Cope with an In-Home Hospice Care Diagnosis
- The patient and family receive support, resources, and guidance from the hospice team.
-It is helpful to have the family on the same page regarding decisions and care at end of life. - The patient and family should journal their feelings and thoughts as they navigate this difficult time. - The patient and family may find it helpful to connect with others who have gone through a similar experience.
How to Help a Loved One Who is Receiving In-Home Hospice Care
- Be prepared to be flexible. Things can change quickly. - Be patient and understanding. Your loved one is receiving the support and care they need. - Be honest about your feelings, and seek support if you need it.
-Respect each other and know that even as you go through this last phase with your family member there are resources available online or in the community for grief couseling and support.
How to Find Quality In-Home Hospice Care
- The patient and their family discuss their care preferences and what type of care they feel would be most beneficial.
- The physicians office and hospital are a great resource for referral to hospice agency. -The patient and their family research the various types of hospice care to find one that best fits their needs and preferences. - The patient and family research hospice providers in their area. - The patient and family review credentials and licensing information. - The patient and family review hospice reviews.
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Resources for In-Home Hospice Care
- American Hospice Foundation - The American Hospice Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides education and resources for those caring for individuals with a terminal illnesses. - National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization - The NHPCO is a nonprofit organization that provides education and resources for those caring for individuals with a terminal illnesses. - Hospice Association of America - The Hospice Association of America is a nonprofit organization that provides education and resources for those caring for individuals with a terminal illnesses.
In-Home Hospice Care Conclusion
In-home hospice care is a type of end-of-life care that focuses on providing comfort and support to individuals with terminal illnesses.
It is important that the family members are able to respect loved ones last wishes and work together to support each other and alongside the hospice team to ensure that the patient’s physical, mental, and spiritual needs are met.
It is never easy to let go of loved ones , and if families are all on the same page there will be less likely to have emotional, mental, and physical stress during the care at end of life