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Hospice patient visits with volunteer


There are so many emotions surrounding end of life. And so many questions.

We compiled this list to help you and your loved one to decide whether and when hospice works for you.


Why consider hospice?

When someone mentions the word “hospice,” how do you feel? Did the person whisper the word? There’s a probably a mutual understanding: death is imminent. In most cases, this is true.

According to a 2017 report by National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, 41 percent of people were in hospice care for two weeks or less.

In many cases this is unavoidable. But what if it didn’t always have to be that way? What if hospice meant more time? More experiences?

The good news is that your loved one can be on hospice for up to six months when they have a diagnosis of less than a year to live. This time can help your loved one meet their end-of-life goals and make the most of the time they have with their family and friends.

1. What happens in hospice?

The number one priority is to keep your loved one comfortable. That means managing their pain and giving them the physical, emotional and spiritual support so that they are in control of their quality of life.

During this time, their hospice care team helps them accomplish their end-of-life goals. Do they want to cross something off their bucket list? Visit their favorite park? Travel to a family reunion? Take a sightseeing flight over the Alexandria lakes? As long as the activity is safe and the care team can control their symptoms, it’s do-able.

2. Who can receive care?

Anyone who has an incurable condition with a year or less life expectancy can be admitted to hospice. (A physician's order is required.)

3. How long can someone stay on hospice?

Individuals can be on hospice for up to six months. After that, hospice may be extended for another six months.

4. Can my loved one get hospice care at home?

Your loved one can get hospice care wherever they call home.

5. Does hospice provide support for families?092619 Knute Nelson 23d.jpg

Families can be on a roller coaster whether their loved one has days, weeks or months to live. Our hospice team supports families emotionally and spiritually, particularly as they grieve before and after their loved one's death.

6. Will my loved one’s symptoms or pain be controlled?

You loved one's care team will control their symptoms and pain as much as possible. Making them comfortable is their number one goal.​​​​​​​

7. When can you admit my loved one to hospice?

We provide informational visits and admissions 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Once we have a physician’s order, we can admit your loved one at any time.​​​​​​​

8. Who will care for my loved one?

Your loved one’s care team will be available 24/7. It will include:

●      Registered Nurses
●      Home Health Aides
●      Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists
●      Social Workers
●      Chaplains
●      Hospice Volunteers
●      Massage Therapists
●      Music Therapists​​​​​​​

9. Who pays for hospice care?

Hospice is typically covered by Medicaid, Medicare, Veterans' benefits and almost all private insurance policies. (No patient will be denied care based on coverage status or inability to pay.)​​​​​​​
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Find out more about hospice

We’re happy to answer all of your questions about hospice care. Contact us at (320) 298-1027.