In-Patient vs. Home: Choosing the Right End-of-Life Care

Nothing challenges the family dynamic quite as much as a terminal illness and the prospective loss of a loved one. For families considering in-patient versus home end-of-life care, there are many considerations and dynamics to consider. The following situations are a few that are often cited as reasons to favor an
in-patient hospice choice.

• Elderly patients living alone may choose hospice in-patient care if they lack the help of family members who can take on the responsibility as caregivers. Utilizing hospice care at home requires someone to take the lead role to follow the care plan of the hospice team for the absolute comfort and safety of the patient.

• Single middle-aged patients who live in cities far from family may want to be back in their hometowns near their aging parents, family and old friends. The patient’s elderly parents need the convenience of having their child nearby and understand that caring for them at home would be overwhelming and a difficult transition for their adult child.

• Any adult patient with a spouse who is unable to care for them at home because of their own physical or mental health issues. Both young and older couples often come to realize that caring for their loved one at home is simply too stressful and unsafe.

• Parents of pediatric patients often opt for in-patient care to ensure their memories of their child at home are good ones. A family-focused in-patient hospice care center should have pediatric and hospice–certified nursing and social work staff who understand how to support them.

• Patients with acute medical situations may choose a hospice facility that is designated as a specialty hospital so symptoms will be appropriately managed as in a hospital, but in a comfortable, home-like setting. This situation is considered general in-patient care and is 100% covered by Medicare. Patients may “graduate out’ of the hospice facility, but many often opt to stay.

So many personal, environmental, economic and lifestyle factors go into a patient’s or a family’s choice of care. Regional Hospice and Home Care has been providing hospice care to the area for over 30 years, and now offers an in-patient option with their recently opened Center for Comfort Care and Healing in Danbury. To explore your choices or schedule a visit, find us at regionalhospicect.org or call: (203) 702-7400.