How do you begin?

Call 815-599-7240

The first step in finding out if hospice care is right for you or your loved one is to simply call us at 815-599-7240. Someone is available to take your call at any time. Our main office is open from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday — Friday. Any other time and on weekends, our on-call nurses are available to talk, answer questions, and make visits.

Even if you are unsure or just think you might need us, give us a call. We will be happy to give you or a loved-one an evaluation. Our team of medical professionals will help you determine if hospice care is appropriate right now, and, if not, we will help connect you to other community resources that might be of help. You can reach us at 815-599-7240. And remember, there is no obligation or fee for our informational evaluation.

When you call our office, you will have the opportunity to speak with our nurse coordinator, one of our other nurses or social workers. During this conversation, you will be able to discuss you or your loved one's current medical/health situation. We will ask questions to learn if hospice care is appropriate for you. You can ask questions to determine whether hospice care fits your needs. Following our conversation, if you decide that you want to learn more, we'll schedule an informational visit. One of our staff will visit you or your loved one to assess your/their condition and answer questions you might have.

If your doctor has told you that it is time for hospice care and you have indicated that FHN Hospice might be your choice, the doctor will send us a referral with your contact information, diagnosis and health information. We will follow up and schedule an informational visit.

Is it time for Hospice Care?

So many of our patients tell us, "Your care and support has been so wonderful, we wish we had called you sooner." Too often people spend their final months in and out of the hospital rather than being able to enjoy their last months as comfortably and actively as possible.

To help you decide whether it's time to consider hospice care, see the questions below. If the answer is yes to three or more, give FHN Hospice a call to discuss your options. We can help you think through what's best for you and your family.

Have you or a loved one...

  • Been hospitalized several times in the last six months?
  • Used medication more frequently to ease pain symptoms?
  • Needed help with two or more of the following?
    • Bathing
    • Dressing
    • Eating
    • Walking
    • Getting out of bed or a chair
  • Had unexplained weight loss in the last year?
  • Had shortness of breath while resting?
  • Fallen several times over the past six months?
  • Been diagnosed with a serious illness by a doctor and told that life expectancy is limited?

Are you or your family...

  • Physically or emotionally exhausted due to caregiving responsibilities?
  • In need of emotional/grief support for family members?

Do your personal goals include...

  • Enjoying each day to the fullest extent possible?
  • Spending quality time with family and friends?
  • Taking control of how you spend the rest of your life?

No matter how you answered these questions, please contact us anytime to learn more about FHN Hospice's care and support.

All care decisions begin with you and your family

How to start the conversation: Talking about End-of-Life Care

At FHN Hospice, we realize that talking about hospice and end-of-life care can be very difficult. When faced with an illness for which a cure is not possible, patients – as well as their families – experience fear, frustration, and confusion. Though they may feel that hospice would be a positive end-of-life option, they often find it difficult to initiate such a discussion with family members, physicians, or hospital personnel. Here are some thoughts to share when discussing common family concerns.

"I know there's no cure, but isn't there something more we could be doing?"

FHN Hospice provides highly specialized, state-of-the art care. Though it is not curative treatment, it is serious medicine that provides pain and symptom relief, as well as emotional and spiritual support for the entire family. It is a very positive option for someone who is terminally ill.

"Mom will think we're giving up. How can we start talking about hospice?"

When patients choose hospice care, they are not giving up: they are taking control. Hospice enables them to decide exactly how, where, and with whom they will spend the rest of their lives. Most patients find hospice care to be a liberating experience that brings them both physical and emotional relief. Quite often they say: "I wish I'd entered the hospice program sooner."

"Dad won't even consider hospice, but the rest of us need help. What can we do?"

Most patients don't want their caregivers to be excessively burdened by their illness. Often, the greatest gift they can give their family is the ability to spend quality time with each other. FHN Hospice supports the entire family so everyone can be physically and emotionally available to focus on important end-of-life issues.

"We haven't even talked to my mom about the fact that she is dying. How can we bring up hospice?"

FHN Hospice has great expertise in talking with patients and their families about life-limiting illness. We can meet with patients anywhere, anytime, to discuss their health needs, learn their personal feelings and desire, and introduce the concept of hospice care sensitively. These conversations usually go more smoothly than families imagined possible and are often welcomed by the patient.

"My father says he's had it! Is he allowed to quit his treatments and go on hospice?"

Patients who have been through extensive treatment or repeated hospitalization often become so physically and emotionally weary that they choose not to continue curative care. Whether or not patients complete their treatment is their choice.

"My mom's doctor hasn't mentioned hospice care. Should we bring it up?"

YES! Many physicians hesitate to talk about hospice care because they don't want to destroy a patient's hope for a cure or physical improvement. However, they may actually be relieved if you broach the subject. If you feel hospice may be a good option, now or in the future, talk with the doctor about the benefits of curative treatment vs. palliative or comfort care. Also be sure to discuss your expectations for preserving quality of life so that you share common care goals.

FHN Hospice can help: call us at 815-599-7240.