A patient who is terminally ill can find repose in hospice care. The care is meant to minimize the pain they feel so that at least they can finish their lives comfortably. Most people associate hospice care with hospital settings. However, it is not always the case that care is delivered in specialized hospitals.

Sometimes it is given at home. In Indiana, hospice care is less about where it is delivered and more about what services are offered. Generally, care is divided into four levels each of which meets a specific need. They include:

Routine home hospice care

This care is given in the home of the patient whether it is their traditional home or an institution that offers senior healthcare. The point here is such that the patient is in a place where they feel comfortable.

This routine care includes the services of professionals such as social workers, nurse aides, community educators and other professionals including those who offer spiritual guidance. Often, the team of professionals will come together to design a treatment plan that meets the specific needs of the patient. From there, they schedule visits at times that are convenient with the family and the patient.

Continuous home hospice care

Pick this program if the patient a lot of supervision. For example, a patient whose symptoms are acute might not handle being alone well, and they need intensive care. With this level of care, caregivers stay with the patient all through the day and night.

Since it might be impossible, in terms of financial resources and space to provide such care in the hospital, often these patients will be cared for in the home even if their symptoms become severe. Caregivers will take shifts by the patient’s bedside to make sure they are comfortable 24/7.

General inpatient hospice care

Some symptoms are challenging to manage at home. With this kind of care, the patient is moved between places often. For example, they may be taken from home to the hospital regularly for consultation.

In most facilities, however, the patient will be referred to a hospice unit in the hospital where they are provided residence for care on the long-term. Many families prefer free-standing facilities for their loved ones.

Respite hospice care

This care is inpatient but for a short time. The purpose of the program is to help the caregivers and the patient’s families. Providing care for a patient who is terminally ill can take a toll on both the caregiver and the family.

This program will allow the people involved to take a break. Typically, respite care is limited in duration and will be delivered occasionally. Medical guidelines have to be followed to make sure that the patient qualifies.

While choosing hospice care, consider what kind of help is necessary. Some patients, for example, can handle some of their day-to-day hygiene activities, while others cannot.

Some patients may need memory care, while others benefit from long term nursing care. Be sure to let the need inform your choice in addition to other factors like safety.