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Hopsice Program

Your doctor has likely dealt with most of the programs surrounding your hospital. Ask for his opinion on the matter. If a member of his or her family were to need hospice care, where would he send them? What criteria does he base that decision on? Does he have a personal connection with that facility that influences his decision? Have previous patients complained to him about any specific programs? Your doctor is a valuable resource for information, so use it to the fullest extent.

How does the program communicate with the hospital?
Are the workers and volunteers up to speed on your loved one’s condition, or will you need to provide a copy of the medical records yourself? Will they be sending updates to your doctor? Make sure that the service you are entrusting with the last days of someone’s life is playing an active role in their treatment plan.

How are services provided after hours?
How many staff are available at night? Who will be available to administer treatments after hours? How many after hours staff are volunteers? How thoroughly have the volunteers been trained on your loved one’s treatment program?

What services are provided?
Obviously food and lodging must meet your standards, but what other services does the program offer? What entertainment will be available for your loved one on their good days? Is childcare provided for family members coming for an extended visit? What kind of grief counseling is available? With which long-term care facilities do they work? These questions are critical when choosing a program with an indeterminate length of stay.

What is the hospice program’s mission, or goal, for your loved one?
This question may seem superfluous, but it is critical to understanding the vision behind the program’s treatment plan. Do they have a clear idea of what they hope to provide not only to the patient, but also to the family and friends who will be leaning on this program to provide for their loved one in their greatest moment of need. Make sure that the mission statement of the program matches up with what you desire for your loved one in their final days.