What happens after you start hospice care?
Upon admission to hospice, a nurse will visit the patient, take their medical history, perform a physical examination, and review medications. The medical director will determine which medicines should be discontinued. Medical equipment, such as a hospital bed, bedside table, commode, wheelchair, and oxygen, will be delivered to the home as needed.
While receiving hospice care, patients will typically be visited by home health aides one to two hours a day, five days a week. A hospice nurse and doctor is on call 24/7. In general, treatment doesn’t include IV antibiotics or IV fluids. However, oral antibiotics and comfort feeds are always continued. Morphine is only used if necessary to keep patients comfortable. Care providers work with patients and their families to anticipate symptoms and plan ahead. If a patient is actively dying and symptoms can’t be managed well at home, the patient may be admitted to the hospital.