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Differences between hospice care and home health care

Hospice Care

  • Hospice is a philosophy of care.
  • Hospice is a holistic approach using nurses, doctors, spiritual help, social services, other skills, and volunteers.
  • Skilled nursing is not always essential.
  • In-patient respite care is available.
  • Bereavement counseling is provided.
  • A written bereavement care plan for the entire family is required. Family followed in bereavement up to fifteen months.
  • Care continues if patient lives longer than six months after electing hospice care.
  • Nursing, physician, pharmacy, social worker, and chaplain services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Patient, family, and other primary care givers receive hospice services.
  • All patients are terminally ill.
  • Hospice nurses specialize in pain and symptom management.
  • Hospice care deals primarily with the dying process.
  • The objective of hospice is comfort, not cure.
  • Heavy emphasis on emotional support for both patient and family.

Home Health Care

  • Home health care is basically a way of delivering nursing care.
  • Primarily nursing care; other therapies as necessary.
  • Skilled nursing is the primary service provided.
  • Respite care not available.
  • No bereavement counseling.
  • No bereavement care plan is required.
  • Family is not followed after death of the patient. Patient is discharged when skilled care is no longer required.
  • Only nursing services are available 24 hours.
  • Care is client oriented.
  • Patients are not necessarily terminally ill.
  • Nurses utilize many skills.
  • Home care deals with a wide range of diagnoses.
  • The objective of home care is cure and rehabilitation.
  • Emphasis on physical care of the patient.