Explaining Hospice and the In Home Care Environment
Your loved one will be placed on hospice by his or her doctor when he or she has less than 6 months to live. The hospice program includes weekly nursing visits, a bath aide, and a “comfort kit” with pain and anti-anxiety medications (typically morphine and lorazepam). This service is covered by Medicare and will be prescribed by a doctor.
In Home Care Services Related to Hospice
While on hospice, your loved one will need private caregivers to fill in the gaps between nurse visits. This is where In Home Care comes in. Husky Senior Care is a wonderful partner for hospice because we have more educated caregivers, care manager support for each client, and a good system for Nurse Delegation. We have worked very successfully with Group Health, Providence, and Evergreen Hospice programs. While on hospice, we will typically provide the following in home care services:
- Feeding (usually a special diet)
- Bed Baths
- Medication Assistance (under Nurse Delegation for the hospice medications)
- Other services as needed
We will also set up a 3-Ring Daily Log Binder in the home to improve the communication between our caregivers, visiting family, and the Hospice Program nurses. Our online Family Room and Weekly Reports system are also invaluable for keeping loved ones up to date no matter where they live.
The Role of Nurse Delegation for In Home Care
There usually comes a point in the hospice process when nurse delegation is required. This means it is time for a registered nurse to “delegate” a particular nursing task to an in home care certified caregiver. Usually this is for comfort kit medication assistance once the senior can no longer participate in the process. Home care is regulated in Washington State and when this point is reached, nurse delegation is not optional, it is required. We will tell you when you reach this point.
Cost for In Home Care in the Hospice Environment
There are no additional charges for hospice in home care until the time comes for Nurse Delegation. At that time, you will be billed separately for the nurse’s time to delegate the tasks (estimated at $200-$1000 depending on the circumstances) and your regular hourly rate will increase by 10% for the remainder of the time. Typically Nurse Delegation does not happen until the latter part of the hospice process and thus does not continue for very long (typically 2 weeks or less), but this varies. If you want to keep your costs down, make sure NOT to schedule nurse delegation after hours, on weekends, or holidays. Remember that family members are allowed to assist with these tasks and are not subject to the same regulations.
Please ask for our helpful booklet “When Death is Near”