For many people, the word “hospice” conjures up end-of-life care that’s intended to ensure comfort in the time before death. While some services are indeed designed to make your last weeks, months or years more comfortable, hospice is not limited to end-of-life services. Choosing a hospice caregiver for yourself or a loved one does not mean you’re giving up on life. Here are some things you should know about hospice home health services and how to tell if they are the right choice for you or a family member.
What Hospice Is
Hospice is a type of home-based medical care with the goal of improving quality of life for someone whose health condition has declined. There are four levels of care hospice providers offer. They include:
- Level 1: Routine home care. This includes things like nursing services, medical supplies, medications, etc.
- Level 2: Continuous home care. This is when a caregiver (usually a nurse or home health aide) stays in the home with the client for up to 24 hours each day. It’s usually only short-term and the level of care required is typically reevaluated every 24 hours.
- Level 3: General inpatient care. When patients have severe short-term symptoms that cannot be adequately treated at home, it may be more appropriate to move them to an inpatient facility.
- Level 4: Respite care. This type of care is appropriate if the patient’s family experiences emotional or physical stress and needs a break. In this case, the loved one may be admitted temporarily to an inpatient center so the family can recuperate.
For many, receiving hospice is a chance to live the remainder of life to the fullest. Some choose to strengthen or mend relationships during this time, while others choose to engage in hobbies or other activities they love. Life while receiving services from a home care agency can be very rich and fulfilling.
Signs It’s Time To Call for an Evaluation
It may be time to call for a hospice evaluation if you or a loved one experiences any of the following:
- Increase in falls
- Unexplained, persistent weight loss
- Frequent hospital or ER admissions
- Decline in mental abilities
- Frequent infections, skin tears or other indications of failing health
- Decreased ability to perform normal daily tasks such as using the bathroom, walking, eating or getting dressed
If you notice any changes in a loved one then you may want to look into additional services. Hospice provides your loved one and their family with an extra layer of support. To schedule your evaluation, contact Home Helpers of Drexel Hill by calling 484-461-8887, or fill out our form online.