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Levels of Hospice Care: A Quick Guide

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Technically speaking hospice care is provided to patients who are terminally ill and have less than six months to live. This does not mean that it is provided to patients for only six months, the care is provided for as long as the patient lives. Its main aim is not to cure the person rather, make their life comfortable and reduce their pain so that they can spend their time meaningfully. 

This care is provided after the hospice team and the doctor both come to a consensus regarding the condition faced by the patient is and if it is life-limiting. Only when this is agreed upon by the two parties, is when such kind of care is authorized to be administered. 

Four Levels of Hospice Care:

Routine Care

It is the first level of hospice care and patients generally start with this. A member of the hospice team visits the patient at their abode, be it a nursing home, a gated community, a private residence etc. Depending on the patient’s condition, the type of care and assistance they need is determined and provided to them. The team adjusts and accommodates its visiting schedule to ensure that optimal care is provided to the patient.

Continuous Care

This is the second level when it comes to caring for patients suffering from life-limiting conditions. When the patient is facing a hard time and his/her symptoms become unmanageable, continuous care is provided wherein constant assistance is given to the patient until their condition stabilizes and comfort is ensured.

Respite Care

The third level of care is respites care. Taking care of a person who is terminally sick takes a toll on their family as well due to the constant needs that they have to cater to. Respite care is provided for a maximum of a five-day period and is meant to give the patient’s family a break from their caregiving responsibilities. 

This kind of care is only provided occasionally. In this, the patient is moved to a nursing facility that takes care of the person along with the hospice team to ensure that the person is comfortable.

General Inpatient Care

This is the last level of care that can be provided to a person. When a person’s condition becomes critical such that their symptoms become unmanageable in their place of residence that is when this kind of care is administered. 

The patient is shifted to a nursing facility where constant and effective care can be administered and where there is a nurse available throughout the day (24/7). Once the patient’s condition comes under control, they can return to their residence and are put on routine care. One can learn more about this kind of care at https://ameriprimehospice.com/.

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