Four Levels of Patient Care
There are four levels of patient care hospices provide in their services: routine home care, continuous nursing care, in-patient care and respite care. These levels of care are important to understand because each patient and family needs are different, yet all still need hospice services. Depending on the level of care needed, the following definitions will help one decide if they are in need of hospice services. If there is any question whether one is hospice appropriate, always seek advice from a licensed hospice organization or primary care physician to review the medical needs of a patient. Remember, the general admission criteria for a hospice is when a patient has a terminal illness with a prognosis of 6 months or less, comfort care and symptom management become the primary focus, and curative treatment is no longer the patient’s choice or option.
- Routine Home Care – This type of care is the most common when patients and families are in need of professional, specialized nursing services in the home like setting, house, assisted living facility, nursing home or hospitals as warranted by the patient’s needs.
- Continuous Nursing Care – This level of care is necessary in the home and when a pain and symptom crisis needs to be controlled. Skilled nursing intervention and a higher level of care is provided because the need to manage a crisis in the home.
- In-Patient Care – This is a service provided to patients with needs for intense care while in a hospital or hospice home. When there is a pain crisis or inability to get symptoms under control, skilled nursing intervention and around the clock nursing care is implemented to manage the pain and symptom crisis.
- Respite Care – This is a short term stay (up to 5 days) intended to provide relief for caregivers. This type of stay allows caregivers time to rest, catch up on overlooked day-to-day activities, or provide a patient with specialized care that they could not have received otherwise.
These levels of care are all included in hospice services and are provided based on the specific needs of patient and family. Having knowledge about hospice services will only help smooth the process when you or your loved one is in need of hospice services. Knowing is power!
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Live well, laugh often, and love much,
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