What does Hospice Respite Care Mean?

Hospice Respite CareYou have decided that your loved one will be at home in hospice care. Caring for a loved one at home at the end of life comes with different challenges than caring for a sick person that has a cure. A person in the final stages of life will require many of the same tasks of someone who is sick. However, care requirements tend to escalate when a person comes home for hospice. For instance, frequent medication scheduling, special wound care, assistance with feeding, dressing and toileting, positioning all become daily routines for families that care for a loved one that is dying. This day-to-day routine can bring on several obstacles for the family that can lead to loss of sleep, anxiety, fear, isolation, depression, and fatigue. To deter and prevent caregiver burnout,  end of life hospice patients are eligible to receive hospice respite care.

According to Medicare, “Inpatient respite care is provided to the beneficiary only when necessary to relieve family members or other caregivers that are caring for the beneficiary at home. Coverage for respite care does not require a worsening of the beneficiary’s condition. Respite care is a short-term inpatient care and is reimbursed no more than five consecutive days per respite period. This care is provided on an occasional basis.” (Hospice Coverage Guidelines. Medicare Benefit Policy Manual (CMS Pub100-102) Chap 9. Updated 7/25/12.

There are several reasons that respite care may be needed, such as caregiver needs a short relief from responsibility of care, caregiver is unable to provide care due to a personal illness or caregiver needs to attend to a personal issue overnight or out of town.

The hospice benefit pays for a patient to stay in a Medicare certified facility for up to five days and nights while the caregiver is away. The hospice team continues to follow hospice POC. The facility staff where the patient is admitted takes on the duties of the caregiver during those five days, thus allowing the caregiver to tend to individual needs or to re-energize the caregiver. The respite care allows the patient to be cared for in an institutional setting for a short period of time allowing for comfort focused treatment to continue with the goal of comfort and dignity until the end of life.

Angels Grace Hospice, located in Bolingbrook, IL,  provides a customized care plan to meet the specific needs of patients.  We provide comfort care in your home, hospital, nursing home or assisted-living facility depending on your individual circumstances.  Contact us with any questions and for further assistance with your end of life care options.