Hospice is end-of-life care that focuses on comforting—not curing—a patient. Ideally, this care is provided where the patient lives—whether that’s at home or in an assisted living facility. However, there are times when hospice care is best suited in an inpatient setting, such as a hospital.
If a physician believes a patient has six months or less to live, the patient can receive hospice care. There are four levels—two home care levels and two inpatient levels. The inpatient levels are intended to be short-term, usually up to five days. Below is an outline of the levels:
- Routine home care. The patient receives care at home, as needed.
- Continuous home care. The patient receives care at home for eight to 24 hours a day.
- General inpatient care. The patient requires inpatient care for pain or symptoms that can’t be treated at home.
- Inpatient respite care. The patient receives inpatient care to allow the primary caregiver at home to take a break.
Comfort in the Hospital
There are many benefits to hospice care in the hospital. The patient gets 24-hour medical care. The patient and family also have the support of a palliative care team.
The palliative care team focuses on:
- Symptom control
- Emotional and spiritual support
- Preservation of quality of life and dignity
- Issues related to wishes for end-of-life care
More about Palliative Care
Hospice is a type of palliative care. The goal of palliative care is to improve a patient’s quality of life while treating the disease. With hospice care, the goal changes from curing illness to making a patient as comfortable as possible. Learn more about the differences between hospice and palliative care.
*The content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Please consult a physician regarding your specific medical condition, diagnosis and/or treatment.