How does hospice care at home work?

Hospices provide all kinds of care at the end of life, but you don’t have to be in a hospice to be treated by them. Some terminally ill people may choose to stay at home during the last months because it’s more comfortable and familiar. Most hospices are happy to facilitate this decision if it is safe for the individual. But how does it work in the long-run, and what care does the hospice provide?

What is home care?

Just as it sounds, home care refers to any services from a hospice or other care providers/facilities that visit the patient’s own home to administer treatments. This could be community nurses, private care companies, and indeed hospices.

The caregivers will come to the individual’s house and provide hands-on care, support, and expertise wherever necessary. They may also decide to get other specialists involved in the person’s care plan if needed; they may sometimes suggest equipment and other bits and pieces that can be used in the person’s home to ensure good quality care at the end of life. Hospices will sometimes work with other local care providers to ensure that the care delivered is consistently high quality.

How does the hospice support you?

Hospices will often provide support for people who choose to live at home, and it may go much farther and wider than you think. Not only would a hospice visit you at home and provide nursing care for you, many hospices would actually have you come into their day centres to receive treatment as well.

Going into a hospice for a couple of days every week gives the person greater access to facilities, equipment, care, and services than they might get at home. Understandably, hospices can provide the best care in the best facilities in their own buildings. This can include things like rehabilitation, exercise, and creative therapies. It will also give the individual an opportunity to meet other people who are being cared for by the hospice. Some hospices will also offer transportation to and from the hospice.

Visiting the hospice once or twice a week also gives the person’s family some time to relax. Providing care at home can be particularly stressful and challenging on relatives; this gives them a break and a chance to take time for themselves.

What other support does the hospice offer?

Other hospices may also offer a sort of equipment loan store for home care. This gives patients the chance to borrow equipment from the hospice for them to use when at home. This could include vital things like rise and recline chairs, specialist beds, and pressure care mattresses. This can be a massive help in maintaining quality of life and care even if you are not in the hospice.

Hospice care doesn’t stop at the patient – hospices can also provide support for families, partners, and anyone else who is affected. Many hospices run support groups, and hospice groups like Marie Curie even offer emotional support and bereavement therapy for families. This stretches beyond the period of the person’s treatment to after their passing.