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Hospice Care

 

Overview

The philosophy at Brookdale Hospice is that life is much more than physical health; it also includes the health of the human spirit. When physical health begins to fail, the nurturing of the spirit becomes critical for maintaining the dignity of the individual.

Hospice is a philosophy of care focused on comfort and quality of life at the end of life. It is designed to treat the whole person emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically by providing comfort and support to patients and their families when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments. As part of the process, family members also receive care and support – all provided by a team of specially trained professionals and volunteers. Bereavement services for family continue for one year after the patient has died.

Brookdale Hospice offers a full spectrum of care designed to respect the dignity of the individual. Our care is skilled and compassionate in its delivery with the goal of providing comfort and freedom from pain. At the same time, it aims to provide the patient with as much independence and control as possible, for as long as possible.

Our Hospice partners with seniors and their families to customize an entire hospice care plan as it relates to the terminal illness. In short, our hospice team is responsible for knowing and understanding the full spectrum of the patient's entire medical circumstances and its management and helping the senior and their family remain comfortable and well care throughout their hospice experience. Although Hospice services can be provided on an intermittent basis, staff is available around the clock, seven days per week to address urgent needs. Hospice services are covered under Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurance plans.

Hospice touches many lives as they near the end, with compassion and respect, helping people live well until they die with dignity. If you or a loved one are facing end of life issues, call Brookdale Hospice for a full explanation of the care and services we provide.

For more information about Hospice Care, please email us at info@brookdaleliving.com or call us at 1-855-444-7658

Benefits

There are many benefits and advantages to hospice care for those facing life-limiting issues.

  • Hospice care e can be delivered in a variety of settings, including the patient’s residence.

  • True to its caring nature and regardless of the venue, Brookdale Hospice care is sensitive to the patient’s cultural and religious beliefs, values and practices.

  • Hospice allows for patient’s to keep their regular maintenance medications as well as those that improve the comfort and quality of their lives.

  • Patients may "check out" or revoke their participation in hospice care at any time.

  • Passing on is part of the whole life process and Brookdale Hospice services help patients and families to understand the personal and social challenges of illness and disability while coping with end of life issues.

  • Hospice care is not a means for either prolonging life or hastening death; instead, it is a service that aids in the transition between them by providing dignity, care, comfort and support to patients and families alike.

Care Levels

There are four levels of hospice care that are paid by Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans. They allow the hospice program to serve in the setting that best meets the needs of the patient. Brookdale Hospice or the attending physician determines the level of care based on patient needs. Some or all of these care options may be used during a patient’s hospice care. All types of care must be approved by the hospice before the patient may use them. Although not all patients use or need all levels of care all are available to them.

  • Routine Home Care
    The patient continues to live at home and receive hospice services there. The family and patient are able to handle the needs and care of the patient with assistance from the hospice team. Members of the interdisciplinary team will visit to ensure that the patient’s symptoms are properly managed, as well as to educate and communicate with the family with regard to the patient’s needs.

  • Continuous Care
    Care to be provided only during periods of crisis to maintain the patient at home. The criteria for continuous home care are the same as those for general inpatient care. This care is provided for a limited time by the hospice interdisciplinary staff.

  • General Inpatient
    Care Some patients may have symptoms that cannot be managed at home to maintain pain and/or symptom control. Inpatient care is provided in a designated center where the interdisciplinary staff can take an aggressive and individualized approach.

  • Respite Care
    This service is provided in a facility and is designed to give caregivers a rest from handling the care of the patient. Respite care is limited to five days and nights at a time. This service is often used to provide a break so that caregivers can participate in other family activities.

It is important to note that there is no list of services that a hospice patient may not receive. Services must be reasonable and necessary for palliation of the terminal illness. Provision of services or medications unrelated to a terminal illness is not allowable.

Your Team

Brookdale Hospice services are provided by a team of professionals that includes doctors, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, spiritual counselors, therapists and trained volunteers.

  • Physician Services
    The patient’s personal physician and the hospice medical director work together with other members of the hospice interdisciplinary team (IDT)to plan medical care needed.  

  • Nurses
    Nurses specialize in palliative care, which seeks to minimize pain while optimizing comfort. The nurse is the liaison between the patient, the physician and other health care professionals to provide pain/symptom management, caregiver education, care supervision, and family assistance.  

  • Medical Social Worker
    The social worker is a counselor to the patient and the family, assisting with financial, insurance and legal issues while arranging volunteer support and other community services.

  • Spiritual/Pastoral Counselor
    Chaplains and spiritual counselors provide spiritual and emotional support to patients and their families helping them to integrate their life’s meaning with their hospice journey.  

  • Hospice Aides
    Hospice aides help with personal care of the patient on an intermittent basis. They provide a break for caregivers in the normal routine of personal care.  

  • Therapists
    Physical, occupational, speech and dietetic therapists are available to help a patient maintain comfort or quality of life.  

  • Bereavement Counseling
    Bereavement counseling is available to support family members for 12 months after the death of a loved one with one-on-one counseling and support groups.

  • Volunteers
    Hospice volunteers are members of the community who have special interest in hospice and receive specialized training in serving hospice patients. Volunteers provide companionship to patients and respite to caregivers. They assist with chores, shopping, transportation and other needs.

FAQ

Q: What is the definition of hospice care?

A: Hospice care is a service provided by professionals to assist those with life-limiting illness in living their lives fully, completely and without pain until the natural end of their lives.

Q: Who makes a referral to hospice?

A: Anyone can make hospice care referral; however supporting clinical data will be requested from the patient’s attending physician or the pertinent treatment facility.

Q: Are there any eligibility requirements for receiving hospice care?

A: To be considered eligible for hospice care you must have a confirmed diagnosis of a life-limiting illness with a possible life expectancy that is generally within six months, based upon the current diagnosis.

Q: Is hospice care only available to the aged?

A: Hospice care is available to anyone facing a life-limited illness regardless of their age.

Q: How long does hospice care last?

A: There is no fixed time limit associated with hospice care. Hospice patients and families may receive care for an unlimited amount of time, depending upon the course of the illness.

Q: How expensive is hospice care?

A: Those eligible for Medicare pay little or nothing for hospice services. Hospice care for those who are not eligible for Medicare care is typically covered under most insurance plans, HMOs and managed care plans.

Q: What role will my current physician have in the hospice plan?

A: You are encouraged to continue seeing your regular physician and while under our care, we will keep your physician apprised of your situation and status.

Q: Where is Hospice care provided…will I have to leave my home?

A: Hospice care can be provided wherever the patient may be, in their own home or a family member’s home, in a skilled nursing center, in an independent or assisted living community and in contracted hospitals. It is also provided in inpatient units and Veterans Administration hospitals.

Q: Are family members still able to care for loved ones receiving hospice care?

A: Yes. Family members are encouraged, supported and even trained by hospice professionals to help care for their loved ones. Nonetheless, hospice staff are available to assist patients and families in caring for their loved ones 24/7, every single day.

Q: When does hospice care end?

A: Hospice care does not end with the passing of the patient; for families and loved ones hospice services provide bereavement and grief support services for up to one year after the death of a patient.


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