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Alternatives to Hospice: Know Your Options

When you’re faced with end of life care, emotions can run high, and it can be difficult to make decisions. That’s why it’s a good idea to understand your options, including alternatives to hospice and end of life palliative care at home, before you need them.

Many times, when you think about hospice care, you might picture your loved on in a hospice facility and not at home, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You might be surprised, but there is such a thing as hospice care at home.

What Is Hospice Care at Home

One of the alternatives to hospice care in a facility is to keep your loved one at home. The truth is, hospice care can be provided regardless of where the patient is living. That means you don’t need to move your loved one to a nursing home or hospice facility for them to receive this important care.

All members of a hospice team such as a hospice nurse, home health care workers, social workers, and even chaplains can meet with your hospice patient in their home. In fact, when it comes to how does hospice care work at home, it works exactly the same way it would in a hospice facility or nursing home.

What Is Palliative Care at Home?

In general, palliative care is healthcare for those patients that have serious, long-term illnesses. This tends to be specialized treatment that meets their specific needs with the goal of providing better quality of life for the patient and their family.

There is typically a care team that is trained to work together to provide this treatment, which is different than normal curative treatment.

Palliative care can be offered at any stage of illness, including end of life. This is called end of life palliative care at home.

The main difference between hospice care and palliative care is that palliative care can be provided from the time of diagnosis, and hospice care begins when the patient has six months or less to live.

Both types of care provide comfort, and if someone is already receiving palliative care, then it can continue until the end of life.

Like hospice care, palliative care can be provided in a nursing facility, at home, or in the hospital. When it comes to palliative care at home vs hospital, it will be up to you, your loved one, and the palliative care team to decide which location suits the patient’s needs best.

If your loved one is being cared for at home, then hospice home visits or palliative care visits can be a better option mentally and emotionally for both the patient and their loved ones than sending the patient to a hospital or other facility.

End of life decisions are difficult for everyone. It’s an emotional time, and unfortunately, there is no getting around that fact. By understanding your options before that time comes, it is easier to make the right decision once you’re faced with it.

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