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If the ill person is being cared for at home, hospice will provide nurses and home health aides to help provide care. The hospice will provide volunteers to read to the ill person and provide care while family members go out to do things that need to be done.
At times, the ill person could be admitted to an inpatient facility while the family takes a break from providing care. The family may wish to go on a vacation that the patient is no longer strong enough to participate in. Or the family may just need a few days in which they can get uninterrupted sleep at night. This is called respite care and can last up to five days. It's part of the hospice Medicare benefit.
Respite care can be provided through an inpatient hospice unit, a hospice house, a nursing home, or an acute care hospital that has dedicated hospice beds.
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