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Hospice Agencies and Palliative Care

This article discusses the information on hospice agencies and palliative care. Deciding on hospice or palliative care can be devastating. Not only are you trying to cope with your loved one’s impending demise, you’re also grappling with a lot of grief, sadness and even guilt. Added to that the stress brought on from having to choose the right hospice agency.  All hospice agencies work within parameters set forth by Medicare. So if the basic services are the same, why is it so difficult to find a good hospice agency? Like anything else, you need to do your research before settling on the right provider for your loved one. Whether you call a hospice agency directly or you are referred through a hospital, you’ll need to find out the answers to many questions.


Where hospice care is offered can vary by company. It can take place in the patient’s home, in a nursing home or in a clinical setting such as a hospital. Ask how far away the nurses are, as hospice care is usually not really about the headquarters of the office, but rather how quickly nurses can get to you when needed. What coverage area does the hospice provider have and how far away do the on-call nurses live? With companies featuring multiple branches all located within 50 miles of each other, this can get dicey when you have an emergency and no one can get there in a reasonable amount of time.

Questions to Ask

Before choosing hospice agency, here are some critical questions to ask.

  • How long has the agency been in business?
  • What services do you provide?
  • How often can we expect a visit from the nurse or staff?
  • Who is the owner of the hospice agency?
  • Is the hospice agency accredited?
  • What standards of care and quality does the hospice agency meet and exceed?
  • How do you train your staff?
  • Are your physicians board-certified in hospice and palliative care?
  • Do you provide all four levels of hospice care? (routine home care, inpatient care, continuous care at home, and respite care)

Get Support

Dealing with hospice can be hard emotionally. You’re trying to be strong for your parent, spouse, or friend but meanwhile the stress of it all is taking its toll on you. The Hospice Foundation of America provides you with a variety of support groups you can visit to ease the pain of seeing a loved one in the last stage of their life. Not only will you get suggestions for how to cope with your situation, you can get some much-needed time away as well as validation for your grief, which comes in many forms (physical, emotional, and spiritual).

For more information on hospice agencies and palliative care or the non-medical hospice-palliative home care services will All Heart Home Care call 619-736-4677.

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