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Hospice and caring for a loved one at home

Hospice care helps patients and families by providing:

  • Regular visits to the home by a hospice Registered Nurse, other hospice staff, and volunteers.
  • Consultations at home or by phone from hospice physicians, as needed.
  • Expert management of pain and other symptoms, such as problems breathing or swallowing.
  • Expert guidance for the family who are caring for their loved one at home*, including information about the patient's condition, symptoms, medications, and how to best care for the patient's medical and personal care needs at home.
  • Emotional and spiritual support for both the patient and their family during this phase of life. This includes help for the family before and after the patient dies.
  • Needed medications, medical equipment and supplies for the home.
  • Coordinating the patient's care and medications across all of the patient's medical providers, including the patient's own doctors, hospice doctors, nurses, and other hospice staff.
  • Care that is personalized for each patient's and family's needs, including adapting the level of medical care to the changing condition of the patient.

* Family members, with training from hospice staff, provide most of the daily care for patients at home – for example, giving medication, physically moving the patient, and helping the patient stay clean, eat and drink.

Do you want to know what it is like to receive care from a hospice? Click here to read one family's story.