Patient Referral

Hospice in an Assisted Living Facility

If you have a loved one currently in an assisted living facility, you may be wondering: what does hospice care provide in assisted living? 

Hospice care is a form of medical care offered to those who are near the end of their lives. It exists to keep patients comfortable as they near the end and is credited with bringing a quality of life that allows the patient and their loved ones to better appreciate the time that’s left.  

So, can someone receive hospice care in an assisted living facility, and what would that look like? Read on for more.  

What is hospice?

Hospice is a specific type of medical care appropriate for patients who have been diagnosed as terminally ill with six months or less to live. It’s common for individuals suffering from medical conditions that have become untreatable or incurable, such as advanced cancer, to consider the added support of hospice care when it becomes clear that treatment will no longer cure or slow the progression of their disease. 

As goals of care change, patients turn to hospice care to create as much peace and comfort for the patient in the time that remains. Hospice care focuses on controlling pain and managing symptoms to improve the patient’s quality of life.

It should be noted that hospice is not a place. It’s a service. Organizations such as Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care administer hospice service wherever a patient is currently located. 

Can hospice care be handled in assisted living facilities?

If your loved one needs hospice care while located within an assisted living facility, you may be wondering how the process works. While assisted living facilities do terrific work caring for their residents, they don’t specialize in hospice care. The hospice care team partners with the assisted living facility to provide the extra care their resident needs as they approach end of life.  

Assisted living staff are not as trained as hospice staff are at aiding in the final transition, nor should we expect them to be. The hospice care team consists of specially trained hospice aides, nurses, chaplains, social workers, and volunteers under the supervision of the hospice medical director to support the patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. The hospice care team also provides emotional and spiritual support to the patient’s family with chaplains and social workers supporting them while their loved one is receiving care and our bereavement coordinator continuing to support them after the patient passes away.

We work directly with the facility staff to ensure the best possible care is provided. 

What does hospice provide in assisted living?

Help with daily activities may not be needed, as they are already taken care of by the assisted living facility. But if required, the hospice team can provide medical equipment related to their terminal illness including hospital beds and wheelchairs. 

Those of course are not the most important services hospice care provides in assisted living. Essential services the patients and their families will receive include: 

  • Visits from registered nurses trained specifically in hospice care to assess the patient and administer care as needed
  • Visits from social workers to provide emotional support 
  • Visits from chaplains to provide spiritual guidance   

Crossroads takes this a step further with: 

  • Unique programs such as Gift of a Day and Life Journal that help make the most of the time that’s left
  • More patient visits than the national average
  • Increased visits in the final days and hours

At Crossroads, we believe no one should die in pain and no one should die alone. When our team recognizes that signs that death is imminent, we activate our Evenmore Care program, keeping a member of our team at the patient’s bedside to support them through their final transition.

Does Medicare pay for hospice in an assisted living facility?

Costs of assisted living facilities of course vary greatly based on the facility. Depending upon your situation, you may be wondering if you can afford hospice care on top of the existing assisted living fees. 

As long as you’re loved one is on Medicare or Medicaid, or perhaps has a supplemental form of insurance instead or in addition to, the answer is yes, you can. 

That’s because Medicare,Medicaid and most insurance do pay for hospice in assisted living. In most cases, there is no cost to the patient and their family.

This means that if your loved one is in an assisted living facility, Medicare does indeed pay for their hospice care, allowing them to still benefit from the quality-of-life improvements available without you needing to worry about additional costs. 

Tips for choosing a hospice care provider.

If it’s time for hospice care for your loved one, you want to make sure you find an organization that provides a patient and their loved ones with all the necessary services to feel that their mind, body, and spirit are taken care of. An organization focused on celebrating life rather than preparing for death. An organization that expects more from themselves than even you would expect from them. 

If you believe Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care may be that organization, please feel free to reach out to us via the contact methods available at the top of this page. 

If you are undecided, we welcome you to download our free guide for choosing a hospice provided below. 

How do you choose the right hospice provider? Download a free checklist.