For older adults who call a Michigan assisted living community “home,” part of the sense of belonging comes from being surrounded by fellow residents and staff who care for one another. When a resident receives the news that they have a life-limiting illness, their community of friends can offer a strong support system. When the time comes, hospice services can be brought to them to provide an additional layer of care and services.

The Medicare Hospice Benefit

The Medicare hospice benefit has four levels of care. Most people are more familiar with “routine care.” It is when hospice services are provided in whatever setting the patient considers home. That could be their private home, the home of an adult child, or an assisted living community. A senior loved one can receive the same hospice services in their assisted living apartment that they would if they were still in their own home.

In addition to routine care, there are several other levels of care hospice offers to meet each patient’s unique needs. For example, if a high fever or infection leads to complications that require more support, hospice can increase services to what is known as “continuous care.” It is a short-term solution that provides more concentrated care until the crisis has passed. In most cases, the hospice patient can remain in their assisted living apartment and have the additional support come to them.

The Services Hospice Brings to an Assisted Living Community

The Medicare Hospice benefit will pay for a variety of services, medications related to the life-limiting illness and any necessary medical equipment. The services hospice will bring to the resident of an assisted living community include:

  • Skilled care of nurses and nurse aides
  • Spiritual care support for the resident and for family members
  • Pain and symptom management
  • Alternative therapies that range from massage therapy to art therapy
  • Social work support
  • Dietary counseling

To learn more about the Medicare Hospice benefit, download this publication from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.