By Published On: November 24th, 2021

The 4 Types of Hospice Care

Ease the burdens of end-of-life care with this helpful guide.

If your loved one is entering into the final stages of life, it’s natural to want the absolute best care possible for them. Many people are unfamiliar with the stages of hospice care when it is time to make important end-of-life care decisions. Not to worry, Opal is here to help with a simple guide to the levels of hospice care so you can decide which is best for your loved one.

Hospice care provides a uniquely tailored, compassionate end-of-life care plan. It is designed by medically trained, certified professionals. The goal of hospice is to make the patient as comfortable as possible during the final stage of life. Hospice care can be covered by Medicare or private insurance plans. For more information on coverage, contact your insurance provider or visit the Medicare website.

There are four types of hospice care. A patient may need one or more types of hospice care during the course of their terminal condition. It is essential for family members to be educated on all four levels of care so they can do what is best for the patient.

daughter with older mother, sitting outside

The four levels of hospice care are:

  • In-Home Care
  • Continuous Care
  • Inpatient Care
  • Respite Care

1. In-Home Hospice Care

Patients often find comfort in their own homes, surrounded by their loved ones in a familiar setting. Hospice care professionals will come to the patient’s home to provide routine care for them. In every stage of care, the focus is on facilitating the best quality of life with the most amount of comfort as possible. Although the patient is not being treated in a medical facility, they will receive a full range of support from hospice professionals. Not only will they receive the appropriate medical care, but they will also have access to emotional care, spiritual advisors, and trained volunteers. In-home care includes:

  • Symptom and pain management
  • Nutritional and therapeutic services
  • Assistance with daily personal care, and
  • Emotional and spiritual counseling for both the patient and the family

hospice in-home nurse helping elderly man to sit down

2. Continuous Hospice Care

There may be times when the patient needs continuous, round-the-clock attention. This may occur when the patient is experiencing a medical crisis or needs more intensive symptom management. This is also referred to as crisis care. In the care of continuous or crisis care, a nurse will be present for extended periods of time to assist the patient with their needs. Having the extra support can be a blessing to families during this challenging time. It allows them to spend time with their loved one while hospice professionals bear the burden of the more intensive caregiving.

3. Inpatient Hospice Care

Sometimes, a patient’s symptoms cannot be managed at home. In this case, inpatient hospice care may be more beneficial for the patient. Inpatient care is typically intended to be a short-term stay. The goal at the hospice facility is to stabilize the patient and get severe pain under control. Once the patient is stable, they may safely return to the comfort of their home for the remainder of their care. If the patient prefers to remain at the facility, the family may make the appropriate arrangements with the hospice doctors and medical team. The number one objective is to honor the patient’s wishes while providing the best possible care.

4. Respite Hospice Care

Respite care can be a lifeline for families in need of rest and recovery while dealing with the responsibilities of caring for a terminally ill loved one. It is common for family members to need a break from providing at-home care for their precious patient. Respite care offers short-term stays for the patient while the family members take time to recharge or handle other necessary responsibilities. Hospice care professionals know that it is just as important to look after the family’s needs as it is the patient’s.

A hospice physician can work together with your loved one’s doctor to help the family determine which level of hospice care is best. For families dealing with the challenges of end-of-life care, it is important to know that there is support available. If your loved one is facing a terminal illness, our Care Team at Opal Cremation would like to extend our sympathy and support during this difficult time.

hospice caregiver hugging elderly man in home

Opal Cremation Is Here For You

Opal Cremation is honored to serve Southern California through providing service with compassion. Our all-inclusive direct cremation package and grief services support our community during challenging times. For more information on how Opal Cremation can help you, visit our blog or contact us directly.

Here are some additional resources you and your family may find helpful:

Before You Send Flowers, Here Are 5 Unique Sympathy Gift Ideas
How to Plan an Unforgettable Celebration of Life

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