Residential hospice care helps ease the burden of 24-hour in-home caregiving while providing a respectful, comfortable care setting for your loved-one’s last days. It is an option that is often under-considered for many Oregonians and can be especially helpful for those without friends or family to provide end-of-life care.
In the 1980’s when the hospice Medicare benefit was created, the plan was for free family caregivers to do the majority of the day-to day care. Visits from hospice nurses, social workers, chaplains, home health aides and volunteers made it possible for hospice patients to spend their last days at home. They often relied on the able-bodied loved-ones, adult children, and grandchildren to provide daily care 23 out of 24 hours.
Today, 50% of Oregonians die on hospice, but of those, over 40% do not die at home. Providing care for a loved one dying at home is difficult and exhausting. Many don’t realize that though medicare-covered hospice nurses, social workers, and chaplains may visit a few times a week, they often delegate the majority of caregiving to the spouse, child, parent, or paid caregiver at great expense. For those dying without willing and capable family or friends to provide end-of-life support, dying at home on hospice care is not an option.
What is residential hospice care?
A hospice residential care facility is the next best thing to dying at home.
A residential hospice specializes in end-of-life care, unlike hospitals that are focused on finding and curing disease, nursing homes which are designed for rehabilitation and long-term assistance, or foster homes that provide long-term residential support. The cost of a hospice residential care facility, or RCF, is often a more affordable alternative and much less expensive than paying for 24/7 private duty nursing care that you bring into the home.
A dedicated hospice residence provides patients and families with a peaceful home-like environment to spend their final days.
What are the benefits of residential hospice care?
- Residential hospice care allows patients to remain safe, comfortable, and cared for, so that their last weeks or days are peaceful and dignified.
- The home setting and care ensures that patients can pass with dignity and respect that honors their individuality and personal traditions.
- A hospice-supported passing provides lasting benefits for the patients’ loved-ones by allowing them to spend precious time together to deal with unfinished business, reflect, meet their own needs, and perhaps reconnect with the patients or others close to the patient.
- Because the staff provides the physical care and follows the plan of care outlined by Medicare hospice providers, loved-ones are free to focus on what’s most important – that final precious time together.