How Can Hospice and Caregiver Provider Services Coordinate Care for a Hospice Patient

Introduction

A patient who is nearing the end-of-life is often times being cared for by caregivers from a Personal Care Provider Company, like TLC HomeCare, prior to the initiation of hospice services. Continuing with Personal Care Services can help bridge the patient over to hospice care because of the existing relationship between the caregivers and the patient and family.

Personal Caregivers

These Personal Care Providers can perform a number of tasks for a client that home health or hospice cannot. For example:

  • Going to the grocery store
  • Going to an event with the client (a ballgame for example)
  • Doing housekeeping
  • Cooking for the client
  • Daily grooming
  • Around the clock presence (24/7)
  • And many other services upon request

Other Times Hospice-Caregiver Collaboration Works Well

Other times, an out of town family, upon finding out about the need for hospice for a loved one, may look to a company like TLC to provide care, run errands and provide companionship for their loved one in their absence. Similarly, a family member who’s home is being used by the hospice patient, may need to travel for work and the caregiver makes it possible for that family member to continue working and earning a living.

Caregivers Working Under the Hospice Plan of Care (POC)

After hospice enrollment, the hospice nurse in consultation with the other members of the hospice interdisciplinary team (physician, nurse, social worker, bereavement counselor, spiritual counselor and others) will design and write a care plan that the team will follow to best manage the symptom and pain management needs of the patient, as well as their spiritual needs, emotional needs and the bereavement needs of the family (called psychosocial needs in hospice lingo).  The caregivers from TLC for example, can continue to provide 24 hour services for a hospice patient and they will work under the hospice’s plan of care.

So in simple terms, the hospice is focused on pain and symptom management, as well as the psychosocial needs of the patient. The TLC caregivers, under the hospice plan of care, may continue to provide grooming, bathing, housekeeping and other services as well as provide a set of eyes on the patient 24/7.

The Nature of Hospice Care is Not Continuous

Hospice care is episodic, not continuous, and on average the hospice team members may make 5 to 6 visits per week in total to a hospice patient and should increase as symptoms worsen over time.

The role of the caregiver service can perform a vital role of being with the hospice patient 24/7 which is especially important when family is out of town or simply busy with their jobs and careers daily.

A Typical Coordination Example of Caregivers Under the Hospice POC

TLC’s Caregivers can continue to serve the hospice patient up to 24/7 in addition to hospice care in a coordinated fashion. For example, the hospice plan of care may call for a patient to be bathed twice per week by a hospice aide, but the patient bathes daily and the patient and family wish for this schedule to continue. TLC Caregivers can provide the remaining baths (up to 5 in this case).

Who Pays for Services?

TLC’s Caregiver services and other’s provider services are not covered by Medicare and are usually paid for out-of-pocket, while hospice care is a covered Medicare benefit that includes the hospice care, drugs and equipment related to the terminal diagnosis. TLC Caregiver services are available for a minimum of 4 hours per scheduled day at an hourly rate and this minimum varies by provider.

For more information on TLC Caregiver Services, home health care or any other related subject, please give us a call at 281-591-0915 or follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or visit our website at tlchc.com.

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