Frequently Asked Questions About Hospice Care


When should a decision about entering the hospice program be made, and who should make it?

At any time during a life-limiting illness, it’s appropriate to discuss all of the patients’ care options, including hospice.  By law, the decision belongs to the patient.

What specific assistance does hospice provide home-based patients?

Hospice patients are cared for by a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, counselors, home health aides, clergy, therapists, and volunteers, and each provides assistance based on his or her area of expertise.

What does the hospice admission process involve?

One of the first things hospice will do is contact the patient’s physician to make sure he or she agrees that hospice care is appropriate for this patient at this time.  The patient will also be asked to sign consent and insurance forms.  These are similar to forms patients sign when they enter a hospital.

Is there any special equipment or changes that I have to make in my home before hospice care begins?

Your hospice provider will assess your needs, recommend any necessary equipment, and help make arrangements to obtain it.

Is the home the only place that hospice care is offered?

No.  Although most hospice services are delivered in a personal residence, some patients live in nursing homes or foster home.

How does hospice “manage pain”?

Hospice Nurses and doctors are well-versed on the latest medications and devices for pain and symptom relief.  Additionally, physical and occupational therapists assist patients to be as mobile and self-sufficient as possible.

Is hospice affiliated with any religious organizations?

Hospice care is not an off-shoot of any religion.  While some religious organizations have started hospices (sometimes in connection with their hospitals), these hospices serve a broad community and do not require patients to adhere to any particular set of beliefs.

Does hospice provide any help to the family after the patient dies?

Hospice provides continuing contact and support for family and friends for at least one year following the death of a loved one.

We are here to help

If you are considering hospice care for a loved one, let us answer your questions.  Contact one of our hospice care specialists to talk to you about your options and the best path for you.  Call us at 915-577-8467 (THOP).