What is hospice?
Hospice is a type of care tailored for individuals facing life-limiting illness. We provide patient-centered care that focuses on maintaining and improving quality of life on every level: physical, emotional, interpersonal, and spiritual. What quality of life means varies on the person. So, we let our patients decide what is important to them, and we make that our priority. Faith and Hope Hospice focuses on both the patient and their family. Again, we let our patients decide who they consider family because family can extend beyond marriage and blood relatives.
Levels of Care
Care needs change over time, and hospice adapts to those needs. We achieve this by utilizing four levels of care:
- Routine: This is the most common level of care and is used when symptoms are well managed and under control. This level of care uses the basic visit schedule for the interdisciplinary team. Visits can be increased or decreased as the patient and family needs change. This includes 24/7 access to Faith & Hope Hospice’s triage team to answer any questions or address symptoms that may arise after hours.
- Continuous Care: Sometimes, symptoms become severe and need ongoing interventions. Continuous Home Care provides a skilled nurse at bedside up to 24 hours a day with close consultation with the hospice physician. Medication doses may be adjusted, or new medications started. (This level of care is provided in the patient’s home, assisted living facility, or board & care home, with the exception of a skilled nursing facility, in which case we use a General Inpatient level of care.) Symptoms that may require this level of care include:
- Severe Pain
- Terminal Agitation/Restlessness
- Drastic Change of Condition
- Persistent Nausea and Vomiting
- Respiratory Distress
- and many other symptoms as they arise
- General Inpatient: This level of care is also used to address severe symptoms that may need careful monitoring or intervention. Medications, dosages, and ways of administering the medications can be changed. General Inpatient (GIP) is used only when symptoms cannot be managed at home or in any other setting. GIP is provided only in a skilled nursing facility. This can be for patients currently residing in a facility or home patients who may be transferred to a facility temporarily until symptoms are managed. Hospice covers room and board charges while a patient receives GIP, as well as transportation to and from the facility.
- Respite: This is a level of care that hospice provides specifically to support the family/caregivers of patients living in a private residence. Respite provides up to 5 days in a skilled nursing facility to give the caregiver a break from the responsibilities of being a full-time caregiver. This time can be used for self-care or when the caregiver needs to go out of town. Hospice also covers room and board and transportation to and from the facility as part of Respite care.
If you have any questions or would like a more in-depth conversation about these levels of care, contact us by clicking here.
The Hospice Team
Faith & Hope Hospice in Los Angeles County utilizes an interdisciplinary team of medical professionals from diverse backgrounds to ensure patient and family quality of life on every level: physical, emotional, interpersonal, and spiritual. Our team has decades of experience providing the highest level of hospice care. Our team meets every two weeks to discuss patient needs and provide insight on how to best serve each patient, each discipline contributing their unique insight and expertise. The team includes the following disciplines:
- Physicians: We have physicians board certified in hospice and palliative medicine. That means they are experts in pain and symptom management due to life-limiting illness and at the end of life. They are available around the clock for consultation and to address symptoms.
- Nurses: Our team includes RN’s and LVN’s who perform a variety of roles from care coordination to care management, direct patient care to directorship. Faith & Hope Hospice also has a team of after-hours nurses who can advise over the phone or make a home visit if necessary.
- Hospice Aides: Faith and Hope Hospice utilizes Certified Home Health Aides (CHHAs) to support the family with patient care, including bathing and basic homemaker services. They guide and support the family/caregivers in providing care to the patient such as performing Activities of Daily Living (like dressing, feeding, transferring, toileting, etc.).
- Social Workers: Our masters-level medical social workers help address emotional needs and overall wellbeing of the patient and family, as well as navigating the many decisions that they face at end of life. Social workers can help facilitate difficult family discussions, find resources, advocate for the patient & family, assist with placement needs, and much more.
- Spiritual Coordinators: Concerns of spiritual or existential nature are common for people facing the end of life. Faith & Hope Hospice’s spiritual coordinators help address these concerns. For some, faith and spirituality are core to their identity. Others feel little connection to these, and that’s okay. Our spiritual coordinators don’t push any agenda or force religion on anyone. Instead, they support each person on their own journey.
- Volunteers: Hospice has always valued the role of volunteers. Faith and Hope Hospice sees our volunteers as core team members, vital for quality care. Our volunteers may help with running errands, joining a patient for an activity, or simply be someone to talk to. That can be surprisingly beneficial. Volunteers can also support caregivers by providing short respite periods, staying with a patient for a few hours while the caregiver takes a break for self-care or to run errands. Quite a few volunteers also help in the office to keep things running smoothly.
- Bereavement: Hospice care is for the patient and their loved ones. That care doesn’t stop after a patient dies. Faith and Hope Hospice provides grief support for at least a year after a patient dies. This comes in the form of face-to-face and telephone visits with our grief counselors, occasional mailings with information about the grief process, a bimonthly bereavement newsletter, educational workshops, community resources, and an annual patient memorial service. We offer these to our patients’ families as well as the community at large.
- Special Services: We offer a wide range of special services to support patients and their families, both physically and emotionally. These therapies include:
- Music Therapy
- Pet Therapy
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Massage Therapy
- Palliative Sedation
Hospice Services & Supplies:
- 24/7 Telehealth
- 24/7 Pharmacy Availability
- Durable Medical Equipment
- Incontinent Supplies
- Nutritional Supplies
- Wound Care Management
- Other Medical Supplies
Where is hospice service provided?
Hospice is provided wherever a patient calls home, be that a house, an apartment, assisted living, board & care home, or skilled nursing facility.
Faith and Hope Hospice provides care to adults, 18 and older, who live within Los Angeles county and the surrounding areas. Because we believe everyone facing terminal illness deserves quality hospice care, regardless of income level, we won’t turn anyone away based solely on an inability to pay.
There are also some basic medical criteria that a person must meet to qualify for hospice services. To qualify, a patient must:
- Have a life-limiting or terminal illness with a prognosis of 6 months or less
- No longer seek curative/aggressive treatment for that illness
- Want hospice services
There are some other condition-specific criteria that may need to be met as well, but those get a bit technical. If you or a loved one are interested in receiving hospice services, or if are unsure if you qualify, please give us a call at 818-559-1460 or send us a message. We are more than happy to talk with you about your specific situation and our nurses can even meet with you in person for a full evaluation. This evaluation is available free of charge and with no obligation.