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Hospice Care: The Team Approach


Coping with a life-limiting illness can be difficult for patients, family and friends.  Fortunately, hospice provides health care to people with any life-limiting illness so they can live out their lives in comfort, with dignity and on their own terms.  Hospice care also embraces the loved ones of those who are sick.  There are many myths about hospice care, to learn more about them check out our “Myths vs Facts" section.




Patients, family members and physicians decide when and

what type of help is needed. A team of physicians, nurses,

social workers, certified nursing assistants, counselors,

chaplains and specially trained volunteers work with the

patient's caregiver to coordinate a plan of care. Among

its major responsibilities, the interdisciplinary hospice



  • Manages the patient's pain and symptoms;

  • Assists the patient with the emotional and 

       psychosocial and spiritual aspects of dying;

  • Provides needed drugs, medical supplies, and


  • Coaches the family on how to care for the patient

  • Delivers special services like speech and

       physical therapy when needed; and

  • Provides bereavement care and counseling to

       surviving family and friends.


Hospice makes short-term in-patient care available if

pain or symptoms become too difficult to manage at home.




With Keystone Hospice, the first nursing visit to the patient's home is

usually the admission visit. During this time, the nurse will:


  • Explain hospice care;

  • Complete a full physical assessment;

  • Identify the most distressing problems for the patient; and

  • Develop a plan to address these problems.


The nurse will focus on any discomfort the patient may be experiencing such as pain, shortness of breath or nausea. Our goal is to insure the patient is quickly and consistently comfortable.


Additionally the nurse will:


  • Review current and needed medications;

  • Review equipment and supply needs; and

  • Establish a visit schedule for services such as nursing, home health aides, social work, chaplain, and volunteers. A nutritionist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech language pathologist and counselor are also available.



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