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physician determine what levels of care are needed by each patient. ROUTINE CARE: The patient receives hospice services at home or in a home-like setting, such as nursing home, assisted living facility or a hospice residential facility. The family provides the primary care to the patient with the assistance of the hospice team. CONTINUOUS CARE: Skilled nursing services that are provided in the patient’s place of residence to help during a crisis period. INPATIENT CARE: This care is provided in a facility (hospital, nursing facility, or hospice freestanding inpatient facility) for symptoms or a crisis that cannot be managed in the patient’s residence. Inpatient care is provided for a limited period of time, as determined by the physician and the hospice team. RESPITE CARE: This service is provided in a facility (hospital, nursing facility, or hospice freestanding inpatient facility) and is designed to give caregivers a rest. Respite care is up to five days and nights at a time. This service is often used to provide a break so that caregivers can participate in other family activities, such as holiday celebrations, or just to relieve a tired caregiver for a few days. THE HOSPICE TEAM Hospice services are delivered on an intermittent basis, as needed by the individual, through a professional hospice team. Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support and care to patients and family members as needed. The hospice team includes*: PHYSICIAN: Your personal physician and the hospice physician work together to plan your medical care. They are always in close touch with the other members of the hospice interdisciplinary group. NURSE: Hospice nurses specialize in palliative care which is a special kind of care that keeps pain to a minimum and increases comfort. The nurse is the liaison between the patient and the physician and other health care professionals. The hospice nurse makes intermittent visits to monitor and evaluate your condition. The nurse provides the patient and family with information about the illness and helps manage the pain and symptoms of the disease. Many Florida hospices use certified hospice and palliative care nurses who have obtained specialized training. MEDICAL SOCIAL WORKER: The social worker is a counselor to the patient and the family. The social worker assists the family with financial, insurance and legal issues, and helps them understand the personal and social challenges of illness, disability, and the dying process. The social worker arranges volunteer support and other services in the community which are available as resources. SPIRITUAL/PASTORAL COUNSELOR: Spiritual issues are an important part of the care of the patient requiring hospice care. Preferences are discussed with the patient and family members. In addition to the support provided by the patient’s church or synagogue, hospice spiritual counselors help patients address life closure and the meaning of life. Assistance with memorial services and funerals is available at the family’s request. HOME HEALTH AIDE: Home health aides are skilled in helping the patient and caregiver with the personal care of the patient, such as personal grooming, some light housekeeping or meal preparation, and many other duties as needs arise. Aides provide a break for caregivers in the normal routine of personal care and they offer both physical and emotional support. Personal care services are provided to patients on an intermittent basis. THERAPIST: Physical, occupational, and speech 50 www.PolkElderCare.com


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