Nursing home hospice nurse

hospice care in a nursing home provides you and your family with an extra layer of support during difficult times. Hospice care includes expert management of pain and other symptoms, spiritual counseling, care planning and grief support.

"Hospice offers our residents specialized end-of-life care when they need it most," said Maria Sady, with Genesis Healthcare in Westlake, Ohio. "Hospice really earns its keep when helping patients or families transition from fear to peace, from pain to comfort, from life to death and throughout the grieving process."

How hospice helps those in nursing facilities

  • Unwavering focus on managing pain and other symptoms so you and your family can focus on the time you have together
  • Reduce the revolving door of rehospitalizations
  • Expertise in advance care planning so patients have greater control of their end-of-life care
  • Extra spiritual and emotional support
  • Helping patients and families access medical social services
  • Grief counseling for up to 13 months after the passing of a loved one

Don't nursing homes provide hospice care?

Nursing home staff have specialized training in custodial care, while hospice staff are experts at end-of-life care. Custodial care focuses on the activities of daily living, such as eating, bathing and maintaining quality of life.

Hospice is comfort care to reduce the stress, pain and other symptoms of a terminal illness. It's about helping patients and their families live as well as they can when life expectancy is limited.

The Option of Palliative Care

Families may also wonder if palliative care is beneficial in a nursing home setting. Studies show that patients who received palliative care consultations had lower rates of hospitalization. Palliative care specialist have extensive training in managing complex pain and other symptoms. They also help families navigate health care systems to receive extra support for advance care planning and care transitions. Care is available at any stage of illness. Medicare, VA benefits and many private insurance plans cover palliative care consultations.

Medicare covers hospice care in a nursing facility

Patients in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility are eligible for the Medicare hospice benefit if they meet certain criteria.

  • A doctor and a hospice medical director certify the patient has a terminal illness, meaning a life expectancy of six months or less
  • The patient signs a statement electing hospice care and waiving treatments for the terminal illness. Patients still receive treatment and care for other medical conditions
  • The nursing facility has a contract with a Medicare-certified hospice provider. All Compassus locations are certified by Medicare 
  • Patients may stop hospice and re-start medical treatments at any time

Your hospice team

Your hospice team

Our hospice team includes doctors, hospice-trained registered nurses (RNs), hospice aides (LPN/LVNs), chaplain, social worker, volunteers and a bereavement counselor.