Does Hospice Affect Length of Life?
While the goal of hospice focuses on quality of life, not length of life, a common result of hospice care is a life that is somewhat longer. A now well-established body of scientific research on this subject shows that when patients qualify for hospice care, receiving hospice care does more to lengthen life for most patients than does pursuing curative treatments.
What Happens if the Condition of a Hospice Patient Improves?
If a patient goes into remission or his/her condition improves to the extent that the prognosis is now longer, that patient can simply be discharged from hospice and returned to other medical care. This happens occasionally. Patients can re-enroll with Brio's hospice if hospice is required in the future.
How Long Should a Person Receive Hospice?
Research suggests that patients and families are most satisfied with their overall care (including the care from their doctors and hospitals) when hospice is in the home for three months or longer. Research also suggests that three weeks is the minimum length of hospice care for patients and families to begin to experience the full benefit of emotional support and guidance. However, at any point that a person has gone home to live out an advanced disease, Brio should be there to help, even if that is a short time.
Will My Doctor Tell Me When It is Time to Choose Hospice?
While the trend is that doctors are becoming more proactive about this aspect of patient education, past surveys suggest strongly that different doctors handle this type of information differently. Families should not assume that their doctor will initiate conversations about end-of-life care or end-of-life decision-making in a timely fashion. You need to be proactive about starting conversations with doctors to discuss whether you want to know your prognosis and about questions surrounding hospice care. Families can also schedule a no-cost, no-obligation appointment with a Brio Home Health & Hospice advisor. We can meet in our office, in your home, at your doctor's office, or even at your hospital room.
Isn't Choosing Hospice the Same As Just Giving Up?
Hospice is not about giving up hope. Hospice is about embracing the hope for a greater quality of life during a very important time of life. For most people, there comes a time when the right decision is to be surrounded by family and loved ones, to relax in the comforts of home, and to enjoy everything life as left to give.
Will Brio Hospice Improve Symptom Control More than the Care My Loved One is Receiving Elsewhere?
The answer is most likely yes. Brio's hospice specializes in quality of life during periods of advanced illness (even cancer and COPD). Research demonstrates that for comfort and for most categories of symptoms, hospice controls symptoms better and results in greater patient & family satisfaction compared to hospitals, nursing homes, and rehab facilities. This result is in no way an indictment of the services at inpatient care settings. This observation is simply a recognition that hospice care does well what it was designed to do.
How Often with Brio Visit My Home and How Long Will Caregivers Stay?
Every plan of care is individualized to each patient and family. Brio may send help daily or we may send help only a couple of times per week - all according to your needs and preferences. Hospice services are designed to consist of intermittent visits. This means families should only require help for half an hour to a couple of hours per visit. Situations where families need more continuous care are more appropriate for inpatient settings. Brio will have nurses on-call for you 24/7. Our caregivers will not leave the home if and when a patient is actively dying. When a patient is passing, the Brio nurse will stay with you throughout the entire experience and until everything is handled.