What to Expect When Starting Hospice at Home

Some families are leery of strangers taking care of their loved one in their homes. A conscientious caregiver may feel they’ve been doing a difficult job well, and now the hospice team has taken over that job over. Or they imagine the hospice team invading their privacy, like firefighters entering a burning house!

With Hospice, You Are in Control

For the most part, your hospice team—generally speaking, a physician, nurse, hospice aide, social worker, chaplain, volunteer and bereavement manager—arrive one at a time and on a schedule you have agreed to. They are there to help take care of your loved one, not to take over. They will look to you for guidance and at the same time have the answers you need. They will be gentle and confident with the patient. With every visit, things will get easier. You will find yourselves looking forward to each team member’s arrival.

Hospice Home Care: What to Expect

Once the appropriate papers are signed and admissions orders received, the patient is officially admitted to hospice care. The hospice team communicates with the patient’s physician and the hospice physician to discuss medical history, current physical symptoms and life expectancy.

  • The team’s chaplain and social worker visit to add emotional, psychosocial and spiritual assessments to the plan of care
  • Regular visits by individual members of the team are scheduled
  • Any necessary home medical equipment is delivered
  • Any necessary medications are delivered
  • You receive information to help you manage the patient’s symptoms, even as they change, and to contact the hospice team if you have a question or need to schedule a visit

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Our Hospice Team Considers All Perspectives

Your hospice team considers all input—from the patient and family, from the physicians and from the medical evaluation—to develop the patient’s plan of care. That plan is reviewed at weekly team meetings and revised based on the patient’s condition.

Best of all, the patient and family are at the center of the hospice team. You are the experts on what you want and need; the team looks to you to share this information so they know how best to care for you.

Find out if hospice care could help your loved one.


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