The Plaza and Hospice Care

What is Hospice?

Hospice care is a special kind of care that focuses on the quality of life for people and their caregivers who are experiencing an advanced, life-limiting illness. Hospice care provides compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable disease so they may live as fully and comfortably as possible.

The hospice philosophy accepts death as the final stage of life; it affirms life, but does not try to hasten or postpone death. Hospice care treats the person and symptoms of the disease, rather than treating the disease itself. A team of professionals work together to manage symptoms so that a person’s last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones. Hospice care is also family-centered – it includes the patient and the family in making decisions.

When should Hospice care Start?

Hospice care is used when a disease, such as advanced cancer, gets to the point when treatment can no longer cure or control it. In general, hospice care should be used when a person is expected to live about 6 months or less if the illness runs its usual course.

What does Hospice care provide?

Hospice can be delivered in two ways, in-patient and out-patient. Hospice in-patient beds are limited and there may be a waitlist. More often hospice care is delivered in you own home, your Plaza apartment, or a long term care facility. Once the choice is made to accept hospice, the focus is on extra support so the resident is able to tend to what’s important to them, rather than worrying about the disease process.

Hospice care entails:

• Palliative and symptom control
• Home care or inpatient hospice care
• Coordination of care
• Extra support for the family and resident

Is Hospice care the same as Palliative care?

Hospice care and Palliative care both aim to provide better quality of life and relief from symptoms and side effects for people with a serious illness, however the prognosis and goals of care tend to be different. Hospice is comfort care without curative intent; the patient no longer has curative options or has chosen not to pursue treatment because the side effects outweigh the benefits. Palliative care is comfort care with or without curative intent.

How they are different?

Hospice care is offered and provided for patients during their last phase of an incurable illness or near the end of life, such as in some people with advanced or metastatic cancer. Palliative care can be offered and provided at any stage of a serious illness.

Hospice care is provided when there is no active or curative treatment being given for the serious illness.

“Treatment” during hospice care involves managing symptoms and side effects. Palliative care can be provided while the patient is receiving active treatment. In other words, it can be given at the same time as chemo, radiation, or immunotherapy for cancer.

A hospice care team coordinates the majority of care for a patient, and communicates with the patient’s medical care team. A palliative care team is separate from the patient’s medical care team that’s giving and managing treatment for the illness, but communicates with the medical care team.

Hospice and The Plaza

For residents to continue living at a Plaza community under hospice care, they must meet the same assessment requirements as non-hospice residents and be appropriate for an Assisted Living setting. The Plaza team members are unable to provide intermediate care or skilled nursing services. However, in some situations, this care can be coordinated and brought in from outside agencies or family support to allow the resident to continue residing at The Plaza.

Residents on hospice care must still be able to ambulate. The resident should be able to get up and down from a bed/chair and ambulate a short distance and capable of self-preservation in a fire or emergency. If a resident cannot ambulate, an assigned 1:1 caregiver or transferring to the Plaza’s Lamaku program (available at some Plaza locations) may be options.

For a hospice resident close to death, The Plaza will attempt to not discharge a resident if outside supportive services can be brought in and the resident is able to receive the care needed until the end of life.

As every resident and situation is unique, it is encouraged for the resident and family to meet with the Plaza’s care team to determine what is in the best interest of the resident and if that can be accommodated at The Plaza. Our main focus is on ensuring that the resident is safe and comfortable during their last stage of life.

For any questions, please see the Administrator.