FAQ: What are the first steps toward getting hospice care?

Once you have chosen a hospice, the first step is to call and set up an initial assessment of the patient’s needs. The call can be made by a family member, the patient, the doctor, or someone at the hospital.

A member of the hospice’s nursing staff will ask for initial information on the phone and then visit the patient in order to make a detailed assessment of their condition.
During this visit, the hospice will:

  • assess the patient’s eligibility for hospice,
  • evaluate the individual’s need for pain and symptom management,
  • counsel the individual with respect to end-of-life issues and care options, and
  • advise the individual regarding advanced care planning.

The hospice will then discuss with you whether hospice care is the most appropriate choice for you or your loved one.