Levels of Care

95% of all hospice care is in the form of routine home care, however there are actually four different levels of care and services to meet the diverse needs of dying patients and their families.

Routine Care

This is the most common level of hospice care. Routine home care includes, but is not limited to, nursing and home health aide services. Patients may receive Routine Hospice Care in their home or what they “call home”—in a long-term care or assisted living facility. A patient will be placed at this level of care if he or she does not have symptoms which are out of control.

Continuous Care

Continuous Care is provided during periods of crisis in which a patient requires continuous nursing care to achieve palliation or management of acute medical symptoms. This intensive care is provided in the patient’s home or facility where they live. In addition to being visited by the team members, the patient will receive up to 24 hours a day care by a licensed nurse and hospice aide, when on Continuous Care.

General Inpatient Care

General Inpatient Care, sometimes just referred to as Inpatient Care is care for pain control and symptom management that cannot effectively be provided in other settings. It is usually of a short-term nature and can be provided in a hospital, hospice unit or long-term care facility. A patient may require inpatient care when his or her symptoms have gotten out of hand and can no longer be managed at home. The patient usually requires extra attention until these symptoms can subside. The hospice team and patient’s physician work together to ensure the patient obtains and maintains a tolerable comfort level. Once this has been achieved, the patient will return home and back to routine home care.

Respite Care

A patient may be moved to respite care when the caregiver needs a break. Many hospice patients live at home, with their family providing most of the care, sometimes around the clock. Caring for your loved one can be exhausting and very stressful. Respite Care allows a patient to be temporarily placed in a facility with 24-hour care so the family can rest. Respite Care is only provided on an occasional basis, for a maximum of five days. Respite Care is provided in a hospital, hospice unit or long-term care facility.