The Hospice Care Timeline

Hospice timeline

Download a printable hospice timeline PDF (PDF, 210 KB) showing a typical patient journey.

The hospice journey from referral to continuing care can be confusing. Our printable hospice timeline (PDF, 210 KB) is your guide to a typical path for patients and family.


Step 1: Hospice referral

Hospice starts when you and your doctor agree to a request or ‘referral’ for care when curative treatment is no longer an option. We will help you learn about the process, talk about your goals and concerns and schedule a free consultation.


Step 2: Admission

We arrange for a nurse visit on the day of admission. We assess needs, including medical equipment, personal supplies and medications. Referral and admission are typically complete within 24-48 hours. You and your doctor are always part of key decisions.


Step 3: Continuing care


  • 24/7 access to care, including holidays and weekends
  • Medical equipment and personal supplies related to diagnosis
  • Pain and other symptoms managed to your goals
  • Respite care when family caregivers need relief
  • RN Nursing Support
  • Hospice aides to help with the tasks of daily living
  • Caregiver education and support
  • Social worker to help you navigate the medical system
  • Optional spiritual support for patients and their loved ones
  • A focus on quality of life; defined by your goals and values
  • Grief counseling for up to 12 months after the passing of a loved one

Note: Patients and family can end hospice care and return to curative treatment at any time.


Pre-grief support for patients and their family

Grieving can begin as soon as we become aware that death is a possibility. This anticipitory grief is felt by caregivers, family and the patient themselves. It is different than grief following a death, but has many of the symptoms, including denial, anger, isolation and depression.


Final days

We'll help you know what to expect during the dying process and be available for managing pain and symptoms. Support includes vigil volunteers at the end of life.


Our promise is the arrive as soon as possible after you notify us of your loved ones death. We'll contact your doctor and applicable officials.

hospice for mother

Hospice is a fully covered Medicare benefit

Coverage includes nurses, other caregivers, medicines, supplies, equipment and support, with no out-of-pocket expenses for the hospice diagnosis.


Call a program near you for information