Answering Your Questions About Hospice Care

Making the decision to move your loved one into a hospice care facility can be challenging and overwhelming. You may experience a wide range of emotions, from anger and depression to anxiety and even relief.

You will also likely have many questions about what to expect from in-home hospice care or assisted living hospice care. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about hospice care.

 What Is Hospice Care?

Hospice care is a specialized end-of-life care service that offers palliative care rather than curative care.

Your loved one may need hospice care if they have a serious or terminal illness or condition and they have chosen to discontinue any treatment that would prolong their life.

Hospice care services are designed to provide comfort, support, and palliative care that improves the patient’s quality of life in their final stages of life.

It also provides resources, support services, and assistance to families through the grieving and bereavement process.

How Will I Know When My Loved One Needs Hospice Care?

Your loved one may need hospice care if they have a serious illness or medical condition that has no cure and for which curative treatment would not prolong life.

Illnesses and conditions that could require hospice care include cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, heart failure, liver failure, chronic obstructive lung disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.

When your loved one transitions into hospice care will depend on their own wishes and end of life care plan, the recommendations of their doctors and medical team, or the advice of their medical power of attorney or guardian if they are no longer capable of making their own healthcare decisions.

Many people wait until the last months or weeks of life to enter a hospice care facility or seek out hospice care services. Some of the signs that it may be time to consider hospice care are:

  • Rapid decline in physical health over the past six months to a year, despite medical treatment and intervention
  • Inability to care for themselves or complete daily living tasks
  • Frequent trips to the emergency room or hospitalizations
  • Inability to breathe on their own
  • Inability of family to care for the patient alone
  • Decreased mental health or mental awareness, including withdrawal, mental confusion, lack of alertness, and increased sleeping
  • Lack of appetite or desire to eat
  • Uncontrollable pain or signs of increasing illness
  • Disinterest in continuing medical care or treatment

How Do I Choose Between In-Home Hospice Care and a Hospice Facility?

Outpatient or in-home hospice care services are provided in the comfort of the patient’s own home. Many patients and family members prefer this option because it gives their loved one respite from being in the hospital or another clinical setting during the final stages of life.

In-home hospice care also allows the family to spend as much time with their loved one as possible, while an inpatient hospice facility might have visiting hours or other restrictions on visitors.

Assisted living hospice care or inpatient hospice care offers 24/7 access to medical care and palliative care in a clinical setting. If your loved one needs support that you can’t provide on your own and your home does not support in-home hospice care, you should consider a hospice facility.

What Services Does Hospice Care Provide?

Hospice care offers a wide range of services depending on your loved one’s needs and wishes. A hospice care specialist can offer:

  • Assistance with the tasks of daily living, including bathing, grooming, personal hygiene, dressing, and more
  • Mobility assistance, including getting in and out of bed and to and from the bathroom
  • Meal preparation and help with eating
  • Medication management
  • Companionship and socialization
  • Respite care for family caregivers
  • Assistance with physical or occupational therapy
  • Referral to support services like spiritual care, emotional support services, and therapy and bereavement services

What Are the Benefits of In-Home Hospice Care?

The biggest benefit of in-home hospice care is that your loved one can remain in the privacy and comfort of their own home during the final stages of their life. Other benefits of in-home hospice care are:

  • Respite for family caregivers so they can take care of their own physical and mental health needs
  • Help with daily living tasks
  • Families will not need to travel to and from a facility to visit their loved one
  • Families can spend as much time with their loved one as possible with no restrictions
  • Increased companionship and support for your loved one
  • Help with personal care tasks
  • Help with general housekeeping tasks and meal preparation
  • Ability to keep pets with them during the final stages of life

What Are the Benefits of Assisted Living Hospice Care?

In some cases, an assisted living or inpatient hospice facility is the best choice. The biggest benefit of inpatient hospice care is access to 24/7 medical support and medical care. Other benefits of assisted living hospice care are:

  • Access to medical equipment and medical supplies 24/7
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Access to medications to provide comfort
  • Increased availability of support staff and professional help

Schedule a Consultation to Discuss In-Home Hospice Care

At Placita In Home Care, we know how challenging it can be to make the decision to seek hospice care services for your loved one. Our goal is to provide the support, resources, and guidance you need to help you navigate this difficult time.

We offer compassionate in-home hospice care in Tucson and Phoenix Metro areas. Our focus is on improving quality of life, reducing pain and other symptoms, and respecting your loved one’s wishes.

We prioritize the needs of your loved one and family, and can develop a comprehensive in-home care plan that supports your loved one’s comfort through the final stage of life.

We provide palliative care, including toileting, bathing, grooming, dressing, and oral hygiene assistance. We also offer companionship, support, and referrals to resources and support services in the community.

If needed, we can provide free referral services to assisted living hospice facilities. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation to discuss hospice care