Choosing a Hospice

There may be one hospice organization, or several that serve your community. It is important to find out about the services that each hospice offers. If there are several hospices that serve your area, you may want to request services from a particular hospice and can communicate that wish to your physician.

  • Are all hospices the same?
  • How do I decide if hospice is the appropriate care choice for me? 
  • How do I choose among different hospice programs?
  • If there is only one hospice program in my community, how do I determine if it is a good one?

These are common questions for individuals and loved ones facing life-limiting illnesses. Determining if a hospice is right for you may best be learned from calling different hospices and asking them about their services.  You can also talk to people you trust who work in healthcare or aging services or who have received support from a hospice. 

  • Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals
  • Social workers, clergy, and other counselors
  • Friends or neighbors who have had direct experience with hospice care
  • Click here to find a hospice in your community or call National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s HelpLine 800.568.8898.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Hospice Program

CaringInfo created a worksheet to help you through selecting the best hospice for you and your family. Download this form and write notes when you contact a local hospice.

Below is a list of questions you should consider when looking for a hospice program.

  • What services are provided?
  • What kind of support is available to the family/caregiver?
  • What roles do the attending physician and hospice play?
  • What does the hospice volunteer do?
  • How does hospice work to keep the patient comfortable?
  • How are services provided after hours?
  • How and where does hospice provide short-term inpatient care?
  • With which nursing homes or long-term care facilities does the hospice work?
  • How long does it typically take the hospice to enroll someone once the request for services is made?

Get to know end-of-life care services in your community by visiting NHPCO's "Find a Provider" tool online. 




National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, www.nhpco.org

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