What to Expect from Hospice Care at Home
Most hospice care is provided at home. When members of the hospice team begin arriving, it’s important to keep in mind that they are there to help take care of a hospice patient and the entire family, not to take over.
They will have answers about hospice care and will be compassionate and competent with you or your loved one. With every visit, things will get easier. Soon, you will be looking forward to each team member’s arrival. Here’s what to expect from hospice care.
The hospice team communicates with the patient’s physician and the VITAS hospice physician to discuss medical history, current physical symptoms, goals of care, preferences for end-of-life care and life expectancy. Many other components of hospice care will quickly fall into place:
- Necessary home medical equipment will be delivered, usually within the first 24 hours.
- Medications related to the life-limiting diagnosis will be delivered to the home.
- The hospice team’s chaplain and social worker will arrive to provide emotional, psychosocial and spiritual assessments that support the plan of care.
- Individual members of the team will coordinate and schedule regular visits. Some will visit daily, while others will visit weekly, when requested or as needed.
- You will receive information about how to manage symptoms and how to contact VITAS if you have a question, if you require acute care, if there’s a crisis, or if you need to see a member of the team.
Hospice Considers All Perspectives
The hospice team considers all input—from the patient, family, caregiver(s), physicians and the medical evaluation—to develop each patient’s plan of care. The plan is reviewed at weekly team meetings and revised based on the patient’s condition.
Best of all, the patient and family are at the center of the hospice team. You are the experts on what you want and need. The hospice team looks to you to share important information so they can provide the best possible care.