What Are the Four Levels of Hospice Care?

older female patient laying in bed during hospice care

Hospice care is a form of medical support and comfort for people with terminal illnesses. This type of end-of-life care focuses on providing physical and emotional comfort to patients and their families, rather than attempting to cure the illness. Hospice care involves four levels of service depending on the patient’s need: home care, continuous hospice care, inpatient hospice care, and respite care.

The Four Levels of Hospice Care

The four levels of hospice care are tailored to the patient’s changing needs. As hospice care is an important part of end-of-life support, understanding the four levels of service can help you determine which type is best for your loved one.

Hospice Care At Home

Home hospice care is the most common and least intensive of the levels. At this level, a patient receives care in their home from either a hospice team or family members with support from a hospice nurse. This type of care includes doctors’ visits, nursing services, medical equipment, prescription medications, symptom management, counseling, and spiritual guidance.

Continuous Hospice Care

Continuous hospice care involves a patient’s home or in-patient stay and is designed for short periods of time. This level of care is provided when the patient experiences rapid changes in their condition, such as an increase in pain levels. A registered nurse, certified nursing assistant, social worker, and chaplain provide around-the-clock care.

Inpatient Hospice Care

Inpatient hospice care is provided when the patient’s condition worsens to the point where home care is no longer feasible. At this level, the patient receives around-the-clock medical attention and symptom management in an inpatient facility. This type of care includes 24/7 nursing services, doctors’ visits, drug administration, and respite care.

Respite Care

Respite care is designed to give family members and other caregivers a break from providing care. This level of hospice care provides temporary inpatient care so that the patient’s primary caregiver can take some time away. Respite care typically lasts up to five days and can be provided in either an inpatient facility or the patient’s home.

How to Determine the Appropriate Level of Hospice Care

When it comes to determining the appropriate level of hospice care for your loved one, there are a few factors to consider. First, consider the symptoms that you or your loved one is facing and how they may be affecting their daily life. This can help to determine an appropriate level of hospice care depending on the illness progression and individual’s needs. 

Second, consider the lifestyle of the patient to decide on an ideal location of care. Finally, discuss end-of-life wishes and preferences to determine if around-the-clock care is desired or necessary, which can also depend on the patient’s mobility levels. A hospice worker or a doctor can help your family make the best decision.

How Unique Hospice Can Help

At Unique Hospice, we provide various levels of care centered around comfort and quality of life with at-home hospice and palliative care in Los Angeles County. Our experienced team of doctors, nurses, and caregivers is here to help you and your family make the best end-of-life decisions. With our personalized approach to care, we strive to ensure that every patient’s needs are met. Contact us online today or call 626-335-7077 to get started and discuss your hospice eligibility.

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