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Although most hospice services are provided in patients’ homes, there are times when home care just isn’t enough. When pain or other acute symptoms demand a higher level of medical and nursing attention, short-term inpatient care at the new Rainbow Hospice Care Inpatient Center may be an option.
The Rainbow Hospice Care Inpatient Facility is conveniently located off of Highway 26, just north of Interstate 94 in Johnson Creek—a community ideally situated in the center of Rainbow Hospice Care’s service area. Accessible from all directions, the location will allow patients to remain closer to home—providing greater convenience and connection to family members and friends who won’t have to navigate time-consuming, long-distance commutes in order to visit their loved ones.
View photos and read more information about our inpatient center by clicking this link:
Inpatient Center Photo Album
You may also refer to the Patient and Visitor Information Guide for further details.
What is the difference between hospice home care and hospice inpatient care?
To best answer this question, it is helpful to understand the four levels of care that Rainbow Hospice Care provides:
Routine care is provided in the patient’s home—this can be a private residence, apartment, assisted living facility, nursing home, or other homelike setting. Routine care is usually provided over the course of several weeks, months or even longer, depending on when the patient is first admitted to hospice and the duration of his or her illness. Hospice team members make regularly scheduled, intermittent house calls to assess the patient and provide additional care or other services to address the unique needs and desires of each patient. Hospice staff is also available on an on-call basis at all times.
Continuous care may be necessary if a crisis develops. Care is still provided in the patient’s home, with hospice staff staying for many hours at a time to manage symptoms that are out of control or to provide other more technical care than is considered routine care.
Respite care is provided when family members acting as the patient’s primary caregiver need a break. Here, the hospice team makes arrangements to have the patient transferred to a Medicare-approved facility for up to five days at a time while the family gets some much needed rest. When Rainbow Hospice’s Inpatient Facility is available, respite care can be provided there. If the respite stay is in a hospital or nursing home, the patient’s hospice team still oversees the care provided.
General inpatient care (GIP) may be required for patients with more complex care needs. In this scenario, the patient is transferred to a hospital, nursing home, or if available—to a hospice inpatient facility for more intensive medical or nursing care. Reasons for general inpatient care include uncontrollable pain, unrelenting nausea and vomiting, severe shortness of breath, seizures, or other problems that cannot realistically be managed in the home. Although general inpatient care is also available for patients who are imminently dying and a very limited life expectancy of only hours or a few days, the goal for most patients is to return home when their symptoms are stabilized or the care needs become less technical. As a result, inpatient stays are fairly short-term. In some cases, patients may be able to remain at the inpatient hospice facility on a residential basis while receiving care at the routine home care level; however, this usually means paying out-of-pocket for services like room and board which are not covered by the Medicare Hospice Benefit or private insurance for the routine level of care.
How does the new inpatient facility affect the way Rainbow Hospice Care works with nursing homes?
Rainbow Hospice Care has made it a priority to build, strong, mutually beneficial collaborative relationships with local nursing homes and assisted living facilities to ensure that residents who become eligible for hospice services have access to the benefits available to them. Hospice team members visit patients inside the facility just as they would in a private home setting—providing extra staff and attention to make sure the patient’s needs are met. The difference is that instead of family, paid staff members of the nursing home or assisted living facility are considered the primary caregivers. The addition of a new Rainbow Hospice Care Inpatient Facility has not changed the way routine care is provided to nursing home residents.
Is it really necessary to have hospice staff come in to supplement the care provided by the assisted living facility or nursing home staff?
Typically, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities focus on short-term rehabilitation or long-term residential care for people who are unable to live alone unassisted but are not considered terminally ill. When someone living in one of these facilities declines to a point where their prognosis/life expectancy is less than six months, additional support from Rainbow Hospice is usually a very welcome benefit that is extremely helpful to all involved.
Because hospice is based on a philosophy of care that is especially created for and dedicated to those facing the end of life, there are some differences in approach to care that are not necessarily available in other medical settings. Although RN staffing may be available in rehab, long-term care, and hospital facilities, staff members there are not always familiar with unique treatments and procedures that are considered to be most effective for managing care for people at the end of life. Hospice team members are specifically trained in matters that are commonly encountered at the end of life. They are also able to provide a wide range of emotional and spiritual support to family members not available in other settings.
How does the new inpatient facility affect the way Rainbow works with hospitals?
Until our new inpatient center was opened in March 2011, Rainbow Hospice Care patients needing inpatient care were usually transferred Fort Memorial Hospital (Fort HealthCare) or UW Health Partners Watertown Regional Medical Center. Rainbow Hospice Care has established strong, long-standing collaborative relationships with these hospitals, and both institutions stand solidly behind the project to build a new Rainbow Inpatient Center. Hospitals are generally intended to provide curative treatment for an acute illness or injury—providing a wide range of medical procedures based on a curative care rather than palliative care model. All agree that end-of-life patients and their loved ones are best served in a serene home-like setting dedicated specifically to the individual needs and desires of the patient and his or her loved ones.