If your loved one is ill and palliative care or curative care is no longer an option, you should consider hospice care. Hospice care offers your loved one medical care and treatments that will ensure their comfort and relieve their pain during the end stages of their life. Making the decision to commit to hospice care can be emotional, challenging, and difficult.
Many families have a hard time admitting or recognizing that it is time to consider hospice care. Choosing in-home hospice care can often be a comfortable compromise between family care and assisted living hospice care. Keep reading to learn more about in-home hospice care and its benefits.
What Is Hospice Care?
Hospice care is medical care that improves the quality of a patient’s life and makes them more comfortable when they are experiencing an advanced illness that will eventually be fatal. The philosophy of hospice care is to make the final stages of life comfortable, without trying to hasten or postpone death.
Rather than treating the disease itself, hospice caregivers treat the person and the symptoms of the disease. Hospice care also centers the patient and family in every decision made.
What Are the Levels of Hospice Care?
There are four levels of hospice care. The one recommended for your family member will depend on their age, overall health, prognosis, timeline, and needs:
- Routine Care – Routine care includes home care and nursing care. A nurse can come to your home to provide periodic or daily care, and a doctor can be consulted as needed. You can also hire an in-home caregiver to provide assistance with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, dressing, eating, and medication management.
- Continuous Care – Continuous home care offers daily in-home care for specific periods of time. If your loved one needs around the clock care, your in-home caregivers will rotate shifts. Continuous care is recommended for patients who are very near the end of life or who have serious mobility issues.
- Inpatient Care – Inpatient care is recommended for patients who have severe symptoms that can’t be managed at home. Your loved one will receive professional medical care around the clock at a safe, secure medical facility.
- Respite Care – Respite care is occasional, temporary in-home or in-patient care that offers in-home caregivers and/or family members a respite from caregiving services.
When to Consider In-Home Hospice Care
You should consider in-home hospice care if your loved one has received a diagnosis of a fatal illness and/or is in the end stages of their life without hope for a cure or rehabilitation. Hospice care is recommended when someone has six months or less to live due to a terminal illness.
If your loved one doesn’t want to enter into an assisted living hospice care facility and you and your family are not able to provide the level of care they need, you should consider in-home hospice care. You can consider these signs that your loved one needs in-home hospice care:
- Treatment is no longer valid, effective, or wanted
- Your loved one doesn’t want aggressive intervention
- Your loved one does not want to enter into an assisted living hospice care facility
- Your loved one and family would prefer that your loved one spends their final days at home
- The symptoms of their illness are getting harder to manage
- They are in and out of the hospital
- They are in pain, uncomfortable, confused, or restless
- They are having trouble communicating or remaining lucid
- They aren’t eating or drinking and have lost weight
- They sleep most of the time
- They have frequent infections
- You need assistance caring for your loved one at home
When to Consider Assisted Living Hospice Care
Eventually, your loved one may need more than in-home care services. You may not have the time, emotional capacity, equipment, skills, or desire to take on in-home caregiving responsibilities. Your home may not be equipped to manage in-home hospice care, or your loved one’s needs may extend beyond what an in-home hospice caregiver can offer.
Assisted living hospice care is meant for patients who are unable to live on their own, and need care services beyond what an in-home caregiver can offer. You should consider outpatient hospice care if:
- Your home is not equipped for in-home hospice care
- You and your family don’t have the resources or time to support in-home hospice care
- Your loved one would feel more comfortable in a facility
- Your loved one has had a rapid decline in health over the last six months despite treatment
- Your loved one is unable to independently perform activities of daily living
- Your loved one is in and out of the hospital frequently
- Your loved one displays mental impairment
- Your loved one’s physical symptoms have worsened
Including Your Loved One & Family in the Decision Process
Even though it may be uncomfortable and awkward, it’s important that you, your loved one, and your family discuss your options. Being in a hospital or assisted living hospice care facility are not the only choices for end of life care.
There are advantages and disadvantages to in-home hospice care, and ultimately deciding which option is best depends on your loved one’s needs, desires, and preferences, as well as your family’s resources and abilities.
Benefits of Choosing In-Home Hospice Care
While it isn’t easy to make the decision to transfer your loved one into in-home hospice care, there are many advantages. When you and your family are discussing your options, you should consider these benefits of in-home care:
- More quality time with your loved one before death
- Care in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by their belongings and familiar items
- In-home care services are provided by experienced, skilled, compassionate caregivers
- Your loved one will be pain-free at the end of their life
- Convenient, reliable, and flexible care services
- Care is personalized and customized to meet your loved one’s specific needs and desires
- Your loved one is the only patient
- Your loved one can maintain their dignity
- Counseling, support, training, and other resources are available
- In-home hospice care is more cost-effective
- It is easier to respect your loved one’s wishes when you choose in-home care
- There is less red tape to navigate when securing care
- Your loved one will experience more peace and quiet
Ensure Your Home Is Safe for In-Home Caregiving
If you choose in-home hospice care, you will need to make sure your home is safe for your loved one and in-home caregivers. Schedule a home safety evaluation to assess the safety of your home and identify any risks or dangers to your loved one’s health and safety. The evaluator will do a thorough walk-through of the inside and outside of your home.
They will point out any areas of risk, such as low lighting, uneven walkways, damaged flooring, and lack of safety features. They can provide a detailed report and refer you to a company that can make necessary repairs and renovations.
Considering Assisted Living Placement
If your loved one’s health has declined and in-home hospice care is no longer an option, you and your family may need to consider assisted living placement services. Assisted living hospice care placement services help you evaluate your options for assisted living hospice care. Your area likely has a number of different facilities to choose from.
Having someone to guide you through the decision making process and navigate the complexities of the system will ensure you consider all options before you make your choice. The person you work with will help you assess your finances, resources, and local options, as well as your loved one’s overall health, needs, and preferences.
Learn More About In-Home Hospice Care in Southern Arizona
If you’re considering in-home hospice care but need more information in order to make your decision, contact us at Placita In Home Care. We offer in-home hospice care, as well as in-home safety evaluations and assisted living placement services. To schedule a consultation for in-home hospice care or assisted living placement in the Tucson or Phoenix metro area, call us today or fill out our contact form online.