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The Four Levels of Hospice Care

It is always wise to turn to experts for help when you or a loved one around you are facing a medical challenge. Just like new parents turn to neo and ante-natal classes to prepare for the challenges of childbirth and caring for an infant, families turn to hospice care when they have a loved one suffering from a terminal illness and have a limited time to live.

Hospice helps patients better manage pain, provides emotional and spiritual support and, most importantly, helps patients and their families find acceptance and often answers complicated questions. There are four levels of hospice care defined by Medicare Services. A patient may be on one level one day and on another level a few days later as needs change. Hospice programs are equipped to pivot and adjust quickly as things change.

Let’s look at these four levels of Hospice Care offered to patients and families.

nurse with patient 3

Level 1: Routine Care

This is the basic level of care provided by hospice. It offers a team approach by hospice staff and the patient’s physician to provide comfort and treat symptoms through pain management, symptom management, and emotional and spiritual counseling. Patients who generally get the first level of hospice care are stable; their symptoms, like pain or nausea and vomiting, are adequately controlled.

Level 2: Continuous Care

When needed, the hospice team provides continuous care that stays overnight. Patients usually need ongoing care when they experience a medical crisis or their symptoms require more intensive management. This round-the-clock nursing allows family caregivers to step back from hands-on care and focus on simply being with their loved ones.

Level 3: In-Patient Care

The most common way to receive hospice care is at home. However, when the patient’s symptoms are not manageable, they may receive in-patient care at a hospital, nursing home, or independent hospice facility. The goal, in most cases, is to help the patient become stable enough to be brought back home.

Level 4: Respite Care

Taking care of terminally ill loved ones is not an easy job. It takes much effort and can be quite exhausting. Respite care offers occasional short-term stays, for the patient, at a 24/hour personal care home. This gives the family members a much-needed break and provides patients with round-the-clock symptom management and appropriate care. When patients return home, they receive routine or continuous care per their needs.

If it’s time for you or a loved one to interact with hospice care, then Hospice360 LLC is here for you. We are proud to be able to provide all levels of care to help you and your loved ones through this tough time. Visit our website for more information. 

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