Bettering your loved one’s quality of life during their final stages.
Hospice care and your loved one
Understanding Hospice Care Living Options
Creating a comfortable space and increasing the quality of life for your loved one during their final stages of a life-limiting illness with.
We are dedicated to caring for our patients
The Serenity Oaks Hospice Care Difference
Our facility is committed to ensuring patients feel comfortable and supported, and experience a greater quality of life during their final stages of a life-limiting illness.
Hospice Care Services
A case manager nurse typically visits a hospice patient one to three days each week, depending on the needs of the patient and their caregivers. Patients can also access an on-call nurse 24 hours a day.
A hospice patient’s regular doctor often participates in hospice care services in cooperation with the hospice medical director.
Medical social services
Medical social services help hospice patients and their families manage the mental, emotional and social challenges of terminal illness. They perform psychosocial assessments, coordinate care, provide counseling and psychotherapy, intervene in client crisis situations, educate patients and caregivers about their treatment plan, and help them find the available resources and support systems they may need.
Hospice patients and their caregivers need a wide variety of services, such as dietary services and pastoral or spiritual support. These services may include bereavement counseling for family and caregivers after the patient’s death.
Personal care can be difficult for many people in hospice. Home health aides typically visit two to three times each week to help hospice patients with bathing and other aspects of personal care.
Hospice patients typically need medications to control or alleviate pain and symptoms. Hospice care provides assistance with medication management to ensure patients get the medications they need and are taking them properly.
Many hospice patients also need medical equipment for a safe, comfortable environment in their homes. Medical supplies may include hospital beds, wheelchairs, and oxygen.
Respite Care provides temporary, short-term assistance to help alleviate or prevent caregiver stress and burnout.
Hospice may provide physical, occupational, or speech therapists as needed.
How Hospice Care Helps
Hospice care provides compassionate and caring end-of-life care according to the patient’s own wishes. Regular visits from nurses, aides, and other healthcare professionals help patients control symptoms, stay on track with medications, and deal with complications of their illness. Hospice care workers can help patients and families with advanced-care planning, such as having conversations about healthcare preferences, preparing Living Wills, and Medical Power of Attorney documents. Most importantly, hospice care relieves suffering and promotes dignity in ways that allow the patient to live out their remaining days more comfortably.
Providing care for a terminally ill loved one is physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausting. The hospice care that patients rely on often includes respite care in which nurses and aides take over caregiving duties for a few hours or days, giving family members and caretakers an opportunity to rest and recharge. This type of care also helps families through the grieving process of losing a loved one.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between "curative" and "palliative" measures?
At its simplest, curative care is care aimed at extending the length of life (curing illness or disease) while palliative care includes treatments that improve the quality of life. Some treatments would qualify as both types of care as it may, for instance, reduce pain and aim to treat an injury too. Contact us to learn more.
What are the requirements to receive hospice care?
The decision to move is a big one. Some of the requirements include: patient having a probable life expectancy of six months or less, the patient’s medical team agreeing that hospice is the best option, and the family understanding that the goal of hospice is to provide comfort or palliative care, not curative measures.
Does life expectancy have to be less than six months?
The requirements are an expected or probable life expectancy of six months or less. However, patients do exceed these expectations and will continue to receive the same excellent care as needed.
When should a decision about entering a hospice program be made and who should make it?
Deciding to enter hospice is something that is made between the patient, his or her family or legal caregivers, and the patient’s doctors. The choice is usually made when a patient is considered to be “terminal” and would benefit more from comfort care than undergoing curative measures.
Can a hospice patient who shows signs of recovery be returned to regular medical treatment?
Yes, when a patient’s condition improves or at times when it plateaus, the patient may be returned to regular (curative) care. If the need arises for hospice in the future, it can be resumed.
When is the best time to start hospice care?
If the patient has a life expectancy of fewer than six months and the family needs or wants additional support, or if the individual does not have outside caregivers to support them during this transition, hospice is a good choice.
Will someone be with the patient at all times?
With hospice care at Serenity Oaks, medical care and personal support are available for the patient 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You will never worry that your loved one is not getting the level of care he or she needs.
How is hospice care provided in the home?
Hospice is available at Serenity Oaks, which for many families, is a more comfortable option. However, there are hospice services in the home in which hospice nurses, doctors, and other support staff will come to the house to offer the same type of palliative care.
What is the difference between regular medicare and medicare hospice benefit?
Regular Medicare covers normal medical conditions on an ongoing basis. Medicare hospice benefit is only available to patients whose doctors state they have a life expectancy of six months or less. This benefit covers all services and care related to this condition. Other care not associated with the terminal illness would be covered under the regular Medicare plan.
What does the hospice admission process involve?
The patient and family, if applicable, will meet with both the patient’s regular doctor and a hospice doctor or hospice coordinator. Together the doctors work to determine if the patient qualifies for hospice service and how it will be covered. The goal is to make sure the patient will benefit most from this level of service as compared to general care and curative treatments.
Is a living will or do not resuscitate the order needed to be admitted to hospice?
No, these are not required for admission to hospice. However, patients and family members should understand that the care provided is not curative but instead designed to make the patient more comfortable in the time they have left.
What is bereavement support?
Bereavement support is offered to family members of patients in hospice. These services can help families come to terms with what is happening and to help them through the process. Also, grief support is offered when a patient passes.
Other Living Options
Assisted living is a form of long-term care that involves a housing and health care component, as well as help with activities of daily living such as bathing, walking, dressing, meals, medications, etc.
Our memory care program is for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. These illnesses are gradual & progressive, so no two patients need the same care level.
Respite care for the elderly in San Antonio serves as a mental and physical oasis for caregivers who spend the bulk of their time in the service of someone they love.