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.

Hospice and Caring for a Loved One at Home was originally published on the website of the American Hospice Foundation. ©American Hospice Foundation. All rights reserved.