Hospice care allows residents in assisted living facilities to receive specialized medical, emotional, and spiritual support for advanced illnesses or end-of-life circumstances.
In fact, many Assisted Living Communities require residents with advanced illness or nearing the end of life to be discharged to higher levels of care. Hospice can provide this level of care within the AL, allowing residents to remain in a familiar and comfortable environment while receiving comprehensive support.
If you are a resident or family member at an assisted living facility, consider discussing hospice care with your healthcare team. It may be the perfect solution for meeting your advanced medical needs while remaining in the comfort of your AL community.
The hospice team provides extra levels of support related to the resident’s diagnosis, including:
- Care in the AL via regularly scheduled visits from members of an interdisciplinary hospice team: nurse, aide, physician, social worker, chaplain, and volunteer
- In collaboration with the attending physician, the hospice nurse and physician oversee medical care and update the resident’s care plan as needed
- The hospice aide, social worker, chaplain, and volunteer address the resident’s personal hygiene, emotional, and spiritual needs.
- Timely delivery of medical equipment to the resident, such as a hospital bed, wheelchair, walker, bedside commode, medications, or other supplies.
- Once a hospice referral has been made, Sonder typically supports the care transition within 24 hours.
- Assistance from a hospice social worker, who can help with insurance benefits or connections to other community resources
- Sonder offers expert symptom management to improve residents’ experience. Modalities can include high-flow oxygen, wound care, fluid management and other integrative services.
- Ongoing support for goals-of-care conversations, advance care planning, and advance directives to explore what residents understand about their diagnosis, symptoms, and prognosis, and to help them identify their goals, values, and wishes for end-of-life care as their health declines
- Support at the time of death, including contacting the physician and transferring the body to the funeral home
- Assistance for the family with funeral arrangements
- Spiritual support and pastoral care from a hospice chaplain
- Bereavement support for the patient, family, and AL staff leading up to and for up to 13 months after a death
Hospice care is a feasible solution for end-of-life care in the AL setting, one that benefits ALs in a noncompetitive manner and gives residents the assurance that they can remain at home (where they prefer to be) for end-of-life care.