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Hospice – The 4 Levels of Care

There are four levels of care that houston hospice provide in the United States. Every patient who receives hospice services will be in one of these four tiers. A hospice patient can move from one level to another and vice versa, depending on the services necessary to meet her needs. The patient’s need will determine her individual level of care.

Routine home care

Patient at home with controlled symptoms

A patient will be placed in this level of care if they reside in her home (or in a long-term care facility) and have no symptoms that are out of control. These symptoms may include, but are not limited to, severe pain, ongoing nausea and vomiting, bleeding, severe shortness of breath, and unbearable restlessness or agitation. A patient at this level has access to the following services:

  • Registered Nurse Visits
  • Visits from social workers
  • Chaplain visits
  • Home health aide services
  • Counselors
  • Medicines
  • Team

The needs of the patient determine the number of visits by hospice staff members. These needs are established and outlined in a plan of care formed by the hospice team and the patient’s physician. The care plan serves as a guide to help all those who care for the patient. At this level of care, the patient also has access to a palliative care nurse on call twenty-four hours a day.

Inpatient care

Patient in a center with uncontrolled symptoms

A hospice patient may require hospital care when her symptoms have gotten out of control and can no longer be controlled at home. When these symptoms cannot be controlled with routine home care, the patient requires additional care until these symptoms disappear. Hospices take aggressive steps to control symptoms and make the patient comfortable. To do this, the patient may be temporarily placed in hospice or an acute care hospital. At this level of care, a moment-by-moment assessment is made of what is happening and what needs to be done. The palliative care team and the patient’s physician work together to ensure that the patient achieves and maintains a tolerable level of comfort. Once this has been accomplished, the patient will return home and return to routine home care.

Respite care

Patient in the center with controlled symptoms

A patient can be transferred to respite care when the caregiver needs a break. Many hospice patients live at home, with their family providing most of their care, sometimes around the clock. Caring for your loved one can be exhausting and very stressful. Family members and / or caregivers need time for themselves and it is important that they take that time. Respite care allows a patient to be temporarily placed in a 24-hour facility so the family can rest. If the patient is willing and the family requests it, the hospice must provide a hospice home or facility placement for the patient. The patient will be transferred to the facility and, in accordance with Medicare regulations, may stay up to five days before being transferred back home.

Continuous nursing care

Patient at home with uncontrolled symptoms

A patient would receive ongoing nursing care if she has symptoms that are out of control and chooses to stay home. This is similar to hospital care, except that the patient remains in her home rather than being placed in a facility. A hospice nurse is required to provide continuous nursing care 24 hours a day if symptoms cannot be controlled during routine home care. search best hospice in houston