When choosing a hospice for your loved one and family, there are some important questions to ask:

  • Who is your Medical Director?  Is he/she Board Certified in Hospice?
  • Who is my nurse, and can I meet her before making a decision?
  • Is your hospice locally owned?
  • Who are the owners, and can I speak to them before making a decision?
  • How many patients does your hospice take care of each day?

Hospice Medical Director – This individual needs to be very experienced, as he oversees your hospice care.  The length of time he has spent caring for hospice patients is a consideration as is whether or not the hospice’s Medical Director is Board Certified in hospice with the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  

Nursing Care –Asking to meet your hospice nurse before making a decision is very important, as you will want to feel comfortable with that person who will be providing such close, personal care.

Locally Owned – Does it matter to you that your care is provided by a hospice owned by people in our community? To some people this means a lot.

Hospice Owners – Obtain the names of the owners of the hospice you are considering.  Speak with them directly.  Make sure they are available to talk at any time.  Talk to them before deciding which hospice to use to make sure you agree with how they provide hospice care.    

Size – Ask yourself if you would you feel comfortable dealing with a small or large hospice? The number of patients a hospice takes care of may be important to you. Some people like smaller, personal hospices while others prefer larger ones.

The more questions you ask before choosing a hospice, the better your experience will be.

Editor’s Note: We thank Valerie Curlee, Director of Nursing at Lakeside Hospice, for this helpful article. For more information, call her at 504-456-6011.