What is Hospice & Palliative Care?
Hospice is an approach to compassionate, expert medical care and supportive services for patients with a life-limiting illness and those individuals important to them. Hospice provides pain and symptom control, spiritual and emotional support while encouraging the highest quality life possible for patient and family alike.
The primary focus of this mode of caring is to assist you or your patients to be free of pain and distressing symptoms so that you can live each day as fully and comfortably as possible. The Hope Health Care team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every week of the year. We’re here when you need us, for as much as you need us, for as long as you need us.
Palliative care is a medical specialty that follows the tenets of hospice care by enhancing the quality of life for patients with serious illness. Palliative Care reaches the family of those patients who are ill with support for them as well. Palliative Care focuses on collaboration between caregivers and practitioner, stressing the importance of effective communication to alleviate pain, symptoms and the stress that typically accompanies a chronic condition.
Hospice is synonymous with palliative care, while palliative care does not always include the limits of the Medicare Hospice Benefit. A guiding philosophy of hospice is always palliative in nature; that is, always seeking to bring comfort often associated with a terminal, or life-limiting illness. The beauty of hospice is that rather than a patient having to choose between quality of life and quantity of life is more often than not, given both.
A study, published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (March 2007) indicated that patients who chose hospice care lived; on average, 29 days longer than those who did not choose hospice with similar diseases.
The Hope Health Care team consisting of physicians, advanced nurse practitioners, nurses and pharmacists who control pain and manage symptoms, supply needed medication, monitor drug interactions and provide medical equipment and supplies needed to keep you comfortable. Our clinical team will discuss medical decisions with you and your family, allowing you and your family to direct your preferences of care.
Hospice Aides are specifically trained to help with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, feeding, dressing, ambulation, transfers, dental care and other elements of personal hygiene. One of our service differentials that makes us a bit different than other hospice providers is that our aides can also provide light comfort touch and massage. While not licensed massage therapists, our Hospice Aides have been trained by Licensed Medical Massage Therapists to provide basic knowledge that allows our staff to bring comfort through aromatic oils and massage.
Our social workers are valued resources in assisting with the emotional issues of a life-limiting illness, particularly for the loved ones of a critically ill person. The Hope Health Care Social Workers can help you with various important, but stressful paperwork such as insurance paperwork and other financial matters. They can also discuss decisions regarding medical care, choosing a healthcare power of attorney, a living will or assist by helping you find community support, admission to a different living environment or in military resources/benefits or volunteer support.
At Hope Health Care, we provide Chaplains and Counselors that can help to address spiritual and emotional issues, regardless of faith preference of denomination. You can count on their availability and their ability to help you find peace. Bereavement counseling is provided to surviving members of the patient’s family to help them through the months following the death of their loved one.
Levels of Hospice Care
Hope Health Care, like all Medicare Certified hospices are required to provide four different levels of care. The difference between hospice providers of care are found in how they manage and transition patients between the levels of care. This is a differentiating factor between the experienced and the inexperienced hospice teams.
The experienced Hope Health Care team provides the following four levels of care:
- ROUTINE HOSPICE CARE
This is the level of the Medicare Hospice Benefit that is most often used in patient care Nationwide. This level of care can be provided at or any place that the patient calls home. Visits are scheduled by a team of hospice professionals to ensure that medical, spiritual, emotional and personal care is met.
- CONTINUOUS CARE
When a patient and family experiences a crisis, Hope Health Care can arrange a level of care that can help alleviate the crisis. Nursing care can be provided at the bedside a majority of a 24 hour period until the crisis subsides. Once the crisis subsides, the Hope Health Care RN Case Manager can begin Routine Home Care again.
- GENERAL INPATIENT CARE
When a patient experiences pain or symptoms that cannot be managed at home, the Hope Health Care team can assist the patient by transferring them to a contracted Inpatient Facility. Once the symptoms and pain are controlled, the patient can be transferred back to the place that they call home.
- GENERAL INPATIENT RESPITE CARE
Care giving can be very hard work for family members. When the caregivers need time away from their caregiving responsibilities, Hope Health Care patients can stay in a contracted inpatient facility for up to five days of rest.