The Benefits of Hospice at Home vs a Facility

benefits of hospice facility vs home

Considering Home Hospice Care?

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When someone you love is facing a terminal illness, there are some important decisions to be made. One of those regards hospice care. Hospice care is recommended to family members when the physician determines a patient has six months or less to live. Read on to learn about the benefits of hospice at home compared to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

What is Hospice Care?

Hospice care offers comprehensive comfort and support to patients who are facing the final stage of life. This type of care is different than medical care, as it suspends treatment or any hope of curing the patient. The primary goal of hospice is to minimize pain and discomfort and to provide the highest quality of life possible.

What is At-Home Hospice?

Increasingly, patients who are facing end of life express a desire to pass away at home. This has made hospice home care a popular option for family members wanting to honor their loved one’s wishes. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization reports that in 2021, 47.3% of Medicare patients who passed away were enrolled in hospice. This equates to 1.71 million hospice patients.

When an elderly patient elects in-home hospice, their doctor arranges for a local Medicare-certified hospice provider. A doctor then initiates the hospice care plan based on the patient’s needs and assigns them a care team. 

Hospice nurses initially visit the patient about twice a week, but are on call 24-hours a day, seven days a week. As their condition declines and patients require more care, the hospice nurse then increases their time with the patient.

What are the Advantages of At-Home Hospice Care?

When a family is facing the difficult reality that a loved one’s health is failing they will be offered some hospice options. Generally, there are two settings in which to receive hospice care, either an inpatient facility or at home. Inpatient hospice care might include a nursing home, a hospice center, or an assisted living facility. While those are viable options for end of life care, there are several benefits for receiving hospice care at home. These include:

  • Comfort at home. Patients who are in the final phase of life prefer to be in their familiar surroundings with their loved ones present. The home setting provides comfort and is less stressful than an inpatient setting. 
  • Relief for caregivers. In-home hospice relieves stress on the family. When hospice services are provided in the home, family members who had shouldered most of the caregiving now have support.
  • Conducive to visitors. Home hospice offers a more flexible environment than an inpatient setting. This allows for close friends and relatives to visit their loved one in the final days.
  • Personal care team. Home hospice providers typically assign a specific care team to that patient. This allows a relationship and trust bond to develop between the patient and the hospice care providers. Contrast this with inpatient settings where staff changes regularly.
  • Flexibility for family. Hospice at home allows for normalcy in the family routine. The patient’s spouse or primary caregiver may continue to work and engage in their daily routine to some extent.
  • Peace of mind. Home hospice offers an extra layer of security and peace of mind for both the patient and family members. There is knowledge that their loved one is being cared for and is safe.
  • Personal attention. Hospice at home provides more individualized attention to the patient and family members. As the patient declines, the hospice staff then provides continuous care around the clock.

What to Expect from Home Hospice Care

Hospice care services are multifold. There are several members that make up the hospice team, each providing different types of care. They include a physician, nurses, a social worker, and a spiritual care provider. The hospice team provides a variety of supportive functions:

  • Provides medical equipment and medications.
  • Dispenses medication for relief of symptoms and pain management.
  • Monitors the patient’s vital signs, weight, muscle mass, and demeanor.
  • Assists the patient and the family with the psychosocial, emotional and spiritual aspects of dying.
  • Instructs the family about how to best care for their loved one.
  • Coordinates special services, such as physical therapy or speech therapy.
  • Provides grief support and bereavement counseling to the family.

Kinkaid Private Nursing Care Coordinates Quality Home Hospice Care

Kinkaid Private Care is a private nursing care provider. Our expert hospice home nurses provide comfort and nurturing for loved ones who are facing the end of life. We provide nursing support, comfort care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support. In addition, we offer concierge holistic therapies that can provide added physical and emotional comfort and wellbeing. For more information about the benefits of home hospice care, please contact Kinkaid Private Care today at (866) 337-4596


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