Hospice is a form of compassionate care that focuses on comfort for people facing a life-limiting illness. Hospice care is provided wherever “home” is – nursing homes, long term care facilities, private homes and at inpatient units such as the Joliet Area Community Hospice Home inpatient unit. At the center of hospice care is the belief that everyone has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and loved ones receive caregiving and grief support throughout the journey.
For patients whose pain or other symptoms cannot be effectively managed in any other setting, including the patient’s home or other residential setting, the hospice interdisciplinary team assesses if the patient requires a higher level of care called General Inpatient (GIP) to achieve effective symptom management. It is a hospice physician’s medical judgment that determines when and if GIP is appropriate to manage the patient’s acute symptom crisis. Careful assessment of pain and other symptoms is required to determine GIP eligibility.
The following examples of patient status triggers may lead to a change to GIP level of care:
‒ Pain or symptom crisis not managed by changes in treatment in the current setting or that requires frequent medication adjustments and monitoring
‒ Intractable nausea/vomiting
‒ Advanced open wounds requiring changes in treatment and close monitoring
‒ Unmanageable respiratory distress
‒ Delirium with behavior issues
‒ Sudden decline necessitating intensive nursing intervention
‒ Imminent death-only if pain or other symptoms are present and skilled nursing is needed.
Joliet Area Community Hospice provides GIP care in our 16-bed hospice home inpatient unit in Joliet. This summer a 12-room addition including four patient rooms and renovations to the present building will be made to enhance the patient/family experience and quality patient care that is JACH’s hallmark. For more information about hospice and palliative care, contact JACH at 815.740.4104. A United Way Agency.