There are two primary types of physician-ordered home care: home health care and hospice care. With so much information available through the internet and the multitude of companies that offer care in the home, it can be a little confusing.
Start with a conversation. As you talk with your loved one, ask the question, “What is your goal?” for the type of care you are considering. Are you needing help to recover from a surgery or injury? Do you need assistance with managing a chronic health condition? Is your need primarily for comfort care as you journey through a diagnosis? Answers to these questions will help guide you to the right kind of care.
Involve others in the conversation. Your loved one’s primary care physician should definitely be engaged in this conversation. He/She can offer the expert medical advice related to any diagnoses, available treatment options, and prognosis. Close friends or a beloved pastor may help to provide a unique perspective, especially when considering end of life care (i.e. hospice).
Home Health Care and Hospice Care have some things in common:
- A physician’s order to evaluate for admission is required
- Minimize hospitalizations
- Services may be provided in the home or assisted living residence
- There is someone available, at least by phone, 24/7
- Periodic visits made by the care team
- A care plan is individualized for each patient
The following gives some basic differences between home health and hospice:
|Home Health Care||Hospice Care|
|Goals – Recovery and
|Goals – Comfort Care and
Quality of Life
|Chronic medical condition or recovery from surgery||Prognosis of six months or less to live|
|Must be homebound with some exceptions||No homebound requirement|
|Services typically covered by Medicare but may have some costs associated with medications and/or equipment||All services, including medications, supplies, and equipment related to the terminal diagnosis are covered by Medicare|
|Care team consists of a licensed nurse, home health aide, social worker, PT, OT, and Speech Therapy||Care team consists of a licensed nurse, social worker, hospice aide, chaplain, volunteers, and therapy services|
In some geographic locations, hospice patients may have the option of inpatient care at a stand-alone hospice facility. Certain requirements must be met to be eligible for inpatient care.
Covenant Caregivers works with many home health and hospice providers and would be happy to point you in the right direction. Give us a call at 601-856-5660.