If you or a loved one have recently experienced an injury or medical diagnosis, or you have an elderly loved one who is exploring their options, you may find yourself in need of some information relating to home care and/or hospice care.
While this may be a very difficult time, there are options available. Knowing your options will help you make an informed decision that is the best decision for you or your loved one. Home care is distinct from hospice care, and these are the differences:
Home Health Care
Home care, or home health care, is considered curative. It is defined as health care services performed in the home to help cure or treat an illness or injury. Home health care may involve nurses, aids, or other health care providers visiting a patient’s home to provide services.
Services that can be provided at home include wound care, IVs, injections, monitoring, physical rehabilitation, speech therapy, and more. Home health care is considered short term, and the goal is to help the injured or elderly person recover and regain independence. However, some doctors may provide at home primary care. Also, home care may extend into the longer term for chronic issues and may eventually need to become hospice care.
Care transitions to hospice care when a patient has six months or less to live. In the case of an illness or injury that cannot be treated, a patient is admitted to hospice care. Hospice care provides pain management, symptom relief, psychological support, and social support to patients and their families.
While some may only associate hospice care with the last few days of a patient’s life, hospice care provided months or weeks before can help significantly with pain management, and the goal of hospice is to provide patients with the best quality of life possible for their remaining time. Hospice care can be provided in nursing homes of specific hospice care facilities, or even in patients’ homes.
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Hospice Care in the Home
Hospice care in the home is very distinct from home health care. Again, the distinction lies in the fact that home health care anticipates the patient’s recovery and return to independent living, while hospice care aims to improve quality of life for those with little remaining time.
For patients who are more comfortable at home or prefer to spend their remaining time in their own home, at-home hospice care can be a comforting option. For personal reasons, families may also prefer to have their loved ones at home to receive hospice care, and that is certainly an option for them.
Whether you are looking for more information about recovering from an injury at home, receiving regular primary care at home, receiving hospice care at home, or receiving hospice care in a facility, there are so many options available.
Consult with your or your loved one’s health care providers to determine the best route for you or them. Advocating for yourself or your loved one and their preferences will help to get the best care possible.