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Levels of Care

As a hospice patient your condition may change over time. Generally, your hospice team is able to supplement your care at home, wherever that might be. Additionally, we may provide care in a nursing home or hospital under specific circumstances.

The entire hospice team is involved with decisions regarding appropriate levels of care and other changes to your care plan at any given time. The following are different levels of care your hospice team may identify.

Routine Hospice Home Care

Services are provided on a scheduled basis in a patient's home by staff and volunteers identified by a patient's interdisciplinary team. Who visits and at what frequency changes according to need over the course of the illness.

For some patients, "home" may be an adult foster home, nursing home, assisted living facility, or a family member's or friend's home.

The vast majority of hospice patients utilize this level of care.

Short-term Inpatient Care

There are two levels of inpatient care. Each of these levels of care is intended for short periods of time to address specific needs. This level of care is not considered a permanent caregiving solution.

  • General inpatient care addresses a patient's need for acute pain and symptom management that may be less successful in the home setting. It takes place in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. 
  • Respite care addresses a caregiver's need for a brief break from caregiving responsibilities. It takes place in a skilled nursing facility for up to five consecutive days.

Periods of Acute Medical Crisis in the Home Setting

Occasionally, an acute medical situation requires more intense help from the nurse, perhaps assisted by the hospice aide. The nurse/hospice aide team may spend 8-24 hours a day for a short period, depending on a patient's needs, in order to achieve adequate symptom control in the home setting.

Levels of Care