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End-of-Life Care Options to Supplement Hospice (U.S.)

End-of-Life Care Options to Supplement Hospice

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October 4, 2013

Whether you are a hospice care provider, in-home caregiver or other senior care professional, it’s important to help families understand the options and limitations involved in end-of-life care. You can help them avoid frustrating predicaments like the one this family faced:

Since Mom died, my sister and I make regular trips to visit Dad. Lately, his health has been declining and now he needs hospice care, but he really wants to stay in the home he and mom shared. We want to honor Dad’s wishes, but hospice won’t come unless Dad has a full-time caregiver. We live so far away, we’ve got our own kids to take care of, and neither one of us can afford to give up our jobs.

This family could have benefited from non-medical in-home care services to ensure the dad had full-time care, even when a hospice worker or family member could not be there.

Hospice Care and the Full-Time Caregiver
According to a survey published in the December 2012 issue of Health Affairs, about 12 percent of hospice programs nationwide can’t accept patients who don’t have a full-time caregiver at home. If a hospice provider denies a patient, it’s usually because the provider believes the environment has the potential to be unsafe for the patient without a constant caregiver. If you are a hospice professional, you might consider referring patients to additional home care services for complete coverage.

In-Home Care Solutions
Non-medical in-home care providers, such as the CAREGiversSM available through the Home Instead Senior Care® network, can supplement the care given by hospice or palliative care teams by providing some or all of these resources:

  • Emotional support
  • Companionship
  • Housekeeping
  • Personal care
  • Daily activity assistance

Professional in-home caregivers can work closely with the hospice team to ensure the patient has quality care 24/7 and can live his or her final days with dignity and in comfort.

Family Caregiver Respite
In-home care services can provide respite for family members who are so busy taking care of their loved ones that they do not have the opportunity to take care of themselves. The Hospice Foundation of America advises family caregivers to practice self-care. Maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough rest, and exercising regularly can contribute to the family caregiver’s overall health and actually help them provide better care.

In-Home Care Resources
If you’d like information about how Home Instead CAREGivers can work with a hospice team, please visit or call the Home Instead Senior Care Support LineSM at 800-640-3914 to locate an office near you.

Hospice Provider Resources
Your patients’ family members can call the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Helpline at 800-658-8898 for help finding local end-of-life resources and support.

In-home care services and hospice care services can work together to create the best end of life care for your patients. Helping them cover all the bases is a major way to assist them in this crucial time of life.

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