Hospice Patients Alliance: Consumer Advocacy



WHAT SERVICES CAN YOU EXPECT?



Hospices can provide a full range of services including visits on a regular basis by a Registered Nurse, home health aide visits, social worker and chaplain visits, therapy if needed to promote the quality of life (physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech & language therapy, dietitians, and other counselors may be available as well. Volunteers also provide many helpful services to the patient and family. Basically, hospices are required to provide the services which the patient and the family need to meet their needs related to the terminal illness. It is important to realize that the family is included in the equation of what services are to be provided, because the hospice benefit is geared toward the patient and family as a unit. When there is a change in the hospice patient, it affects the family as well, and problems in the family affect the patient. Hospice is there to support you through these times and help make the quality of life the very best possible under the circumstances.

If there is a crisis in which the patient's symptoms are uncontrolled, you can expect to have around the clock nursing in your own home, for brief periods up to 3 days. In the case of a facility, twenty-four hour staffing is always available for patient care. If you experience any problem getting symptoms under control and the Attending Physician is refusing to provide needed medications, you can always ask the hospice Medical Director to intervene.

Hospices exist to provide the end-of-life care that you and the family need to keep the patient comfortable and help everyone involved cope with all the changes. After death, hospices must provide bereavement counseling for up to one year.




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