At the age of 74, Jane was diagnosed with Lou Gherig’s disease. The disease progressed slowly at first, but then took a drastic turn after she had surgery to insert a feeding tube. The sudden change left her family struggling to care for her at home, but Jane did not want to enter a facility. Her family was relieved when they learned she was eligible for hospice care. However, they quickly discovered that hospice didn’t cover all of Jane’s needs. That’s when they decided to contact a home care agency and find out how they could help. Within days, Jane had been matched with a home care provider who specialized in people with Lou Gherig’s disease and she was able to remain safely in her home.
If you have an aging family member with a chronic condition, you might be wondering the difference between home care and hospice care. You might also be questioning if having both is necessary.
What Does Hospice Care Do?
Hospice provides medical care to people with diseases that doctors will probably not be able to cure. In most cases, people are eligible to receive hospice care when they are expected to live six months or less. Hospice assigns a team of people to create an individual care plan for the patient. After the patient passes, hospice assists the family through the grieving process. Some of the services available through hospice are:
- Medications for relieving symptoms and pain.
- Medical equipment.
- Therapy, including physical, occupational, and speech therapies.
- Help with dietary issues.
- Inpatient care for short periods of time when symptoms can’t be controlled at home.
- Temporary respite care so that family caregivers can take a break.
- Grief counseling for the patient’s family members.
How Does Home Care Complement Hospice Care?
Home care provides non-medical services that are not available through hospice. For example, hospice does not offer at-home care for someone who needs constant assistance. Some of the services offered by home care are:
- Help with household tasks, such as cleaning and laundry.
- Food preparation and assistance with eating, if needed.
- Medication reminders.
- Help with bathing, grooming, or other personal care.
- Assistance caring for pets.
- Overnight care.
- A break for family caregivers so they can go to work, spend time with friends, or run errands.
If you have a family member with a chronic illness, it’s a good idea to explore all of your options for their care. In many cases, hospice care and home care are a perfect pair for ensuring your loved one lives as comfortably and safely as possible surrounded by the things and the people that they love.
If you or someone you know needs home care in Blaine, MN, contact Prairie River Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.