The Four Levels of Hospice Care


Routine Care

While still caring for the patient, the team members will stay by the patient’s side for support. Support is the most important thing in regards to hospice. The main goal is to provide comfort, and to manage the patients symptoms, so the team will never be anything close to negligent. No matter the state of the patient, the team will always be by them during the routine visits. The patient can always rely on experienced support and care from the team during times of distress under the routine level of care. When they come for their visits to the patient’s place of residence, they will always carry a caring, pleasant disposition and show up, following a schedule that works best for the patient and their family. Nothing about routine care will be intrusive. Routine care still protects and respects the patient’s privacy and keeps a courteous attitude following their constant form of support. The team never will make the patient feel as though the routine visits are something forced upon them, but instead, something they are granted and hopefully look forward to in some way or the other. Routine care allows for an overall sense of independence while also providing, support, hope, and encouragement during the hospice process.


Continuous Care

No nurse or physician will leave the patient unattended during a term of continuous care. Considering continuous care is regarded as something for the most difficult time a patient is having but can still remain in their place of residency, being there for the patient is one of the most important things there is. That is why during a round of continuous care the patient will remain as well taken care of as possible, as well monitored as possible, and as necessarily medicated as possible, until the time comes where a patient can return to a routine care plan or be moved to a place better suited for them. Still, it remains that until this happens the continuous level of care will grant a patient with a method of treatment which gives them the most comfortable care available during the time of distress or when continuous care is the best option at the moment. When continuous care no longer works in the patient’s favor, a different approach may be considered.


Respite Care

Different from GIP (General Inpatient Care) respite care is limited in time and only allows a five day period  for the patient to remain at the facility the hospice team sends them to. Families will have to return to the side of their family member once the five day period up. The patient also may have a say in there form of care, so long as they are coherent enough to do so, but the family still has a large amount of decision making to do. Respite care gives the family an opportunity to go about doing things they may not be able to do while monitoring a patient. It offers them a sort of recess to get things done like running errands, clothes or supply shopping for their children, and other similar activities. It is not a daycare for adults, but a time of rest which can sometimes be better for the patient and the family during the specified period of respite care. Of all hospice levels of care, respite care works to be the best in order to make sure the patient is safe and well cared for during their time away from their families or normal residency. No respite care will be given to patients that do not require respite care, but their families and the patients may still look into the possibility if it is something they are interested in and think would most benefit the family and the patient together. Nothing is done or approved without discussion between the physician, nurse, family, and patient, though, and can still be a considered option for hospice care.


General Inpatient Care

Though it may extend further than that if needed. Each case is treated different, and each case is different. Every Five Star hospice patient receives personalized care, catered to their needs, specifically. This is why some patients may stay longer in GIP than other patients. General inpatient care is of the highest levels of hospice care, which is why it is a decision made independently. It is all purely dependent on the needs of the patient. The needs of the patient is what matters most to us, because it is what should matter to everyone else around them, including the family and all team members involved. No patient shall be treated as if they are just another case, or another bed to fill. Each patient is catered to in a way best fit for them, and no nurse or physician will hold them longer than is needed. No one should be barred from the comfort of their own home, which is why general inpatient care is something that should still not be considered permanent, unless absolutely necessary. In fact, the primary goal of general inpatient care is to get a patient to a state that they no longer require inpatient care and may return home to their place of residency. This is important because it usually, and hopefully, means patients will have more time with their families, which is something that matters most of all.


Final Note on Levels of Hospice

These are the overall hospice level of care definitions. More information can be provided via phone or email, which can be found at the bottom  of our webpage. The routine care level remains, and most likely, will always remain the most common method of care, the continuous care will most likely always remain an extension of routine care, and the hospice inpatient level of care criteria and respite care criteria will always work best dependent on the selective instance of care needed, patient outlook, and family and physician deliberation.


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