We recognize that the discussion to move from curative care to “comfort care” is difficult, yet it is an extremely important conversation. Much like doctors refer their patients to specialists in a specific area of care, hospice teams are the specialists in end of life care. Hope is not forgotten or ignored when the Catholic Hospice team enters into a patient’s home. Our goal is to keep our patients as comfortable as possible, while treating the symptoms of their disease, and enabling them to live their lives as fully as possible.
Most patients under hospice care fall under Routine Home Care. This level of care is provided where the patient resides – their home, a family member’s home, or a facility. Catholic Hospice staff follows individualized care plans for their patients based on their personal needs. Our team approach puts the patient and family at the head of the team along with the patient’s physician.
A patient may be placed in “respite” care from routine hospice care in order to provide their caregiver with a temporary reprieve from their role providing day to day care. During this time, the patient will be cared for in a Medicare-approved facility, such as a nursing facility. The same hospice team members continue the plan of care for the patient; essentially the location of where care is provided is the only change. Respite stays may occur once every benefit period for a length of 5 days.
Inpatient hospice is utilized when death is imminent, physical symptoms cannot be controlled outside an inpatient setting, or the patient cannot be safely moved out of the hospital to another location of care. Medicare’s rule of thumb is that if what is being provided in the hospital could be provided in the home, the patient does not qualify for the inpatient level of care and must be moved “home” for routine hospice care.