Choosing the appropriate hospice program for yourself or a loved one can be a difficult task if you do not have resources available to help you make an informed decision. Hospice programs may have different quality standards and philosophies of care, therefore it is important for both the patient and their loved ones to have an understanding of hospice services. When selecting a hospice, you should compile a list of questions to ask to be sure that the program and the services meet your needs and wishes.

Questions to ask:
1. What services are provided by the hospice, and where?
2. How often will a nurse or hospice team member visit?
3. Can I continue to work with my primary care physician?
4. Is the hospice program licensed and accredited?
5. What quality standards does the hospice meet?
6. How are the hospice caregivers trained?
7. How much authority will I have over the direction of my care?
8. Will my loved ones have a part in my care plan?
9. What kind of supportive services will be available to my family?
10. How do I acquire hospice services? Do I qualify?

If you are still uncertain about which hospice program is the right choice for yourself or a loved one, speak with a medical professional who is knowledgeable about the hospices. They may be able to better assist you and answer any additional questions that you might have when making this decision. There are several organizations that evaluate accredited, certified, and licensed hospice programs to protect consumers. Please visit our resources page for more information about “Signing Up for Hospice Services”.