The individual must have a prognosis of six months or less to live and certify that he or she doesn’t wish to pursue curative treatment.
The medical professional then makes a referral to hospice. Members of the hospice staff will conduct an assessment of the patient’s overall needs, as well as establish a care team. Along with the primary caregiver, the hospice team and the patient will outline an appropriate care plan.
Hospice comes to the patient in a nursing home, hospice facility, hospital or at home. In hospice care, the patient may access a range of goods and services, such as:
- Physician services;
- Regular home visits by registered and licensed practical nurses;
- Home health aides to assist in activities of daily living, such as dressing and bathing;
- Social work and counseling services;
- Medical equipment, such as hospital beds and oxygen;
- Medical supplies, such as bandages and catheters;
- Pain management and symptom control;
- Volunteer support to assist caregivers and family members;
- Specialized services, such as nutrition counseling and physical, speech and occupational therapy.
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