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A Guide To Hospice Home Care Services

A Guide to Hospice Home Care Services

By Cheri Platte, Managing Director, Circle of Care Home Care

What are Hospice Care services?
Hospice care includes specialized medical services offered by an interdisciplinary team that assists by providing the highest quality of life and comfort management possible to patients with a terminal or life-limiting illness or disease. Typically, hospice care is available to patients with a life expectancy of six months or fewer.

More than 70% of Americans prefer passing in the comfort of their own residence rather than in a hospital or treatment facility. In-home hospice care not only increases the patient’s quality of life; it also helps with symptom management and offers access to a multidisciplinary team who are well-equipped to tend to the physical, spiritual, and psychosocial needs of the terminal patient and their family.

Circle of Care’s guide to hospice home care services.

Types of Hospice Care

  • Respite hospice care: Gives the primary caregiver a break to tend to their own health care needs.
  • In-home hospice care: Hospice team members make regular visits to take care of the patient, tending to their various needs.
  • Continuous hospice care: When 24/7 in-home hospice care is provided to the patient.
  • Inpatient hospice care: Offers 24/7 care to the patient at an inpatient facility until their current needs can be met at home.

Planning for a Loved One Needing Hospice Care

The first step when planning for the care of a terminal loved one, if you haven’t already, is having an end-of-life plan. It’s best for this difficult conversation to happen well before you even need to decide. Get preferences in writing with an advance care plan. Consider the legal aspects, health care decisions and the final wishes of your loved one.
  • Legal aspects: The importance of a will, whether or not you need a lawyer, what your executor is responsible for. Take, inventory, financial assets, items of sentimental value, children and guardianship, named executor.
  • Health care decisions: decisions to make before hand, advance directives, medical power of attorney, living wills. medical proxy, choosing a health care agent who can make medical decisions in the event your unable to, fill out a living will, your personal choices about what kind of care you want to receive
  • Final wishes: Probably most important to your loved one are the emotional and spiritual needs,  personal choices and priorities, conversations about life and death, unfinished business, favorite memories, how they want to be remembered.

As the primary caregiver, you are in charge of making all decisions for your terminal family member while overseeing their in-home care. Despite the support and guidance provided by the hospice care team, they may not always be there 24/7 to help care for your loved one, so you will need to step up.

Caregivers - Remember to Take Care of Yourself!

Stress and burnout are two big challenges while caring for a hospice patient. If left unchecked, stress and burnout can cause serious health problems. These tips can help you.

  • Take regular breaks
  • Eat healthy
  • Get a good nights sleep
  • Exercise
  • Join a support group
  • Consider respite care for longer breaks

Learn More About Preventing Caregiver Stress

What to Look for in a Hospice in-Home Caregiver

Choosing in-home hospice care is a major decision, and you would want the best possible team and excellent service delivery. How do you choose a hospice in-home caregiver? While caregivers should possess five main personality traits (patience, attentiveness, compassion, dependability, and trustworthiness), use these tips to find high-quality hospice services:
  • Consider recommendations from local nursing homes, your health care professional, and/or people you know who have used hospice care before.
  • Look for accredited hospice care providers.
  • Consider the care provider’s track record in your community.
  • Book a consultation with your local hospice provider.

See the article “6 tips to help you hire a home care professional” to learn more!

Hospice Care FAQs

What kind of services does hospice care provide? These are the services hospice care typically provide: nurses, therapists, hospice aides, social workers, volunteers or charity workers, spiritual advisors, bereavement counselors, medicine and medical equipment, supplies.

What type of terminal illnesses does hospice care treat? Hospice care treats many terminal illnesses including cancer, kidney disease to heart failure, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, AIDS, stroke, and chronic lung problems.

When is hospice care right for you or your loved one? Once the family or terminally ill patient decides they don’t want to continue their in-hospital curative treatments, and they want to stay at home to live a more comfortable life, surrounded by their loved ones, then it’s time to consider hospice care.

Final Thoughts - Guide to Hospice Home Care Services​

Caring for an individual facing a life-limiting circumstance can be challenging enough. The feeling of uncertainty, scared, confused and very often, feeling alone can add overwhelming anxiety to an individual and their family.

Circle of Care Hospice Care is a special kind of compassionate companionship that provides both comfort care, or the emotional, physical and spiritual support, and symptom management, or the relief from pain and side effects that are often associated with terminal illness or disease.

In-home hospice care may be the right solution for you or your loved one. Contact Circle of Care’s home care for a consultation.

Cheri Platte
Managing Director

Cheri Platte has been a home care expert and professional consultant for family caregivers, and a compassionate advocate for the elderly, for over 20 years. As the Managing Director for Circle of Care, her focus is on the development of resources that support families who care for their loved ones and to provide individual home care solutions.

Her mission is to educate the public on the benefits of home care and home health, assist families in developing individual care plans, and help them plan for the advanced stages of aging. Circle of Care has a staff of over 100 caregivers who are skilled, compassionate and for over 20 years have served the community on a word-of-mouth referral basis. They are trusted by families, doctors, nurses, social workers, hospitals, nursing homes and senior communities. When not helping families in need, Cheri spends time volunteering at various organizations as well as spending time with her family and friends.


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