Who will care for you?

You will be cared for by a team of specialists in hospice care that includes a physician, nurses, social workers, nursing assistants, chaplain and volunteers who have all had extensive training in comfort and hospice care.

Depending on your circumstances and stage of care, FHN Hospice will provide any combination of the following services:

Physician Services

Your provider makes the initial certification for admission to hospice. He or she will certify that you have a life-limiting illness, and you have a life expectancy of 6 months or less if your disease continues its normal course. He or she also approves your plan of care and works with your hospice team.

Hospice Medical Director Services

Our hospice medical director is available to your attending physician and you as a consultant and a resource. She has specialized training and many years of practice in hospice and palliative care. She oversees the team's care, reviews your plan of care and makes sure your needs are being met. She will make periodic home visits to assess any changes to your care plan.

Nurses will provide comprehensive nursing care

Each of our nurses has advanced training in comfort care and hospice care. Their goal is to provide symptom management and comfort based on you and your family's wishes.

Hospice trained nurses will:
  • Assess your comfort and any symptoms which may need attention, such as pain, nausea, constipation, and anxiety.
  • Work in coordination with your physician to control these symptoms.
  • Perform procedures such as placing and maintaining catheters, wound care, blood draws.
  • Teach your caregivers how to care for your physical needs.
  • Discuss the effects of the patient's illness and treatment and long-term illness expectations.
  • Adjust medications quickly to meet the needs of the patient.
  • Listen to the patient's and family's concerns and offer support.
  • Respond to your concerns and/or questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Provide drugs, medical supplies and equipment related to the terminal illness.
  • Support the entire family.

FHN Hospice care provides emotional and social support

We know that emotional and spiritual well-being are as important as managing pain and symptoms, so we have a staff of social workers and a chaplain who are part of our care team. Our goal is for our patients to have a peaceful, meaningful, end of life, one in which they have the time and physical ability to get their affairs in order, have meaningful conversations with friends and loved ones, and resolve any unfinished business in their lives.

The Hospice social workers can:
  • Provide information and link you and your family to community resources, state and local assistance programs you may need.
  • Clarify insurance coverage and answer questions regarding financial concerns.
  • Help you and your family arrange for added caregiving support at home or in an alternative care setting.
  • Provide information concerning advance directives, such as appointment of a health care representative or proxy and POLST forms.
  • Listen to you and your family's concerns and provide emotional support.
  • Help your family members anticipate grief and bereavement issues.
  • Meet jointly with you and your family to facilitate meaningful conversation and to resolve issues.
  • Provide counseling for children who are involved.
  • Assist in funeral and memorial planning.
  • Provide bereavement services to your family.

Physical pain can be made worse by non-physical causes such as fear, anxiety and grief. The search for meaning in life or wondering about one's own contribution or worth is a form of spiritual pain. Our chaplain can help you address many of these feelings and thus help make your life more comfortable.

The Hospice chaplain can:
  • Meet with you and/or your family to share hopes, fears, dreams and concerns, whether spiritual or otherwise.
  • Answer questions and discuss concerns about spiritual matters.
  • Offer help in coping with common feelings such as loneliness, anger and fear.
  • Help contact the your own clergy, if desired, or clergy services from the religion of you and your family's choice.
  • Offer prayer with you and your family if requested.
  • Teach relaxation techniques to help achieve greater peace.
  • Facilitate receiving religious sacraments.

One of the most exhausting and intimate roles of a caregiver is attending to personal grooming needs of the patient. Our certified nursing assistants are experts at helping you with your personal grooming needs. They may visit two or three times a week at your request.

Hospice staff can assist you with your personal care needs
  • Bathe and change bed linens.
  • Shampoo, groom and/or shave.
  • Provide skin care.
  • Assist with toileting.
  • Perform light housekeeping.

Along with all of our highly skilled staff, our trained, compassionate volunteers enhance the lives of our patients in many ways. Volunteer assistance supplements the work that our staff performs and is often referred to as the 'icing on the cake'.

Hospice trained volunteers can help by:
  • Staying with you so your caretaker can rest or do errands.
  • Visiting with you and providing companionship.
  • Running errands and grocery shopping.
  • Doing laundry and light housework or preparing meals.
  • Caring for pets or walking a dog.
  • Bringing certified therapy dogs to visit you and your family to provide comfort and companionship.
  • Conducting a ceremony for veterans to honor and recognize that their service is sincerely appreciated.
  • Helping you capture your memories with our storykeeping program.
  • Providing music, including arranging visits from our FHN Hospice singers and instrumentalists.
  • Ensuring through our 11th hour program, that no one dies alone. Our program provides you and your family with support during your final hours, whether at home or in a facility.
  • Offering bereavement support for your family, including offering invitations to FHN's bereavement support group meetings.
  • If you are interested in volunteering, please call FHN Hospice at 815-599-7240.