Hospice care is a service provided for patients who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. The term “life-limiting” is used to describe illnesses for which death is expected to be a direct consequence.
Patients are eligible for hospice care when they have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and are expected to live six months or less. At that time, comfort care and symptom management become the primary focus, and curative treatment (treatment with the goal of curing an illness or disease) is no longer an option. Deciding when it is appropriate to begin hospice support depends on the patient’s physical and psychological situation.
Allegiance Hospice provides patients and their families with specialized hospice care services (symptom management, emotional support, spiritual support and psychosocial intervention) that address end-of-life needs with a focus on improving quality of life. Our staff also offers spiritual care and bereavement services to help family members after the loss of their loved one.
Levels of Care
When a physician diagnoses a life-limiting illness, the patient and family members will meet with a nurse to review hospice options. There are several different levels of hospice care. The most common is routine home care, in which caregivers visit the patient a few times per week at their home or nursing facility.
Another type of hospice care involves periodic, full-time caregiving provided at the Hospice Home. This option is available for patients who do not have a caregiver to help at home or who live in an unsafe environment.
The most extensive level of hospice support is acute inpatient care, which is delivered in a hospital because the patient’s medical condition requires hospitalization.