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When & How Do I Start a Conversation About Hospice?

When it comes to talking about the hopes that you or a loved one have for end-of-life care, it’s never too early to start the conversation.

Although it’s not easy to talk about hospice, doing so in advance can help alleviate stress when the time comes to make a choice. Take time to ask yourself or a loved one:

  • How and where do I want to live for my remaining days?
  • What kind of care do I want?
  • Who do I want to provide the care?

Make the Most of Final Days with Hospice Care

The choice to receive hospice care is always up to the patient (or the designated caregiver, when appropriate). One thing to keep in mind is that the sooner you start hospice care, the sooner you’ll be able to take advantage of benefits such as:

  • Pain management
  • Symptom management
  • Life-enriching resources like volunteer visits, music and pet therapy, and legacy planning

Hospice care can start at any time after receiving a terminal illness diagnosis. However, it’s most beneficial when there is sufficient time to stabilize your condition and establish a trusting relationship. In fact, a survey of hospice families revealed that many families wished they had started hospice care earlier.

With proactive symptom management and support 24/7, many hospice patients continue to lead productive and rewarding lives.

Tips for Talking about Hospice with a Loved One

When you’re ready to start the conversation about hospice care, keep these tips in mind to help your loved one feel cared for and understood:

  1. Recognize and acknowledge that your loved one has been through a lot lately.
  2. Share your concerns and hopes for your loved one.
  3. Ask about their concerns, hopes and questions.
  4. Dispel common myths about hospice, if needed.
  5. Explore the options together, including home hospice or hospice care in a location such as Dougherty Hospice House or Avera Sacred Heart Majestic Bluffs.
  6. Reassure your loved one that his or her wishes have been heard and will be respected.

Read about why it’s healthy to talk about life’s end. And find more tips to help you prepare for a conversation about hospice at the Conversation Project.

Talk with an Avera@Home Expert

If you’re ready to start a conversation with your loved one about hospice care, our hospice experts can come to you. It’s as simple as having a conversation around the kitchen table – or wherever it’s most comfortable and convenient for you.

Everyone can rest assured that starting the conversation doesn’t necessarily mean that now is the right time for hospice care. It’s simply a chance for our team to learn more about your loved one’s needs and for you to learn more about the services Avera@Home can provide when the time is right.

To request a visit, fill out our online form and an Avera@Home expert will contact you within the next business day.

How Can We Help?

To learn more about hospice, simply fill out this form and one of our Avera@Home experts will contact you within the next business day.

Contact us online

Give Us a Call

Avera@Home can provide hospice care to people living within a 40-mile radius of our home office locations below. For more information, call one of our locations or submit a request.

  • Aberdeen: 605-622-5200
  • Estherville: 712-362-6169
  • Flandreau: 605-997-2433
  • Hartington: 605-668-8327
  • Madison: 605-556-4030
  • Milbank: 605-432-4538
  • Miller: 605-853-0343
  • Mitchell: 605-995-2268
  • Pierre: 605-224-3218
  • Sibley: 712-754-2574
  • Sioux Falls: 605-322-7705
  • Southwest Minnesota:
    507-537-7070
  • Yankton: 605-668-8327

Hospice Care Guide

Download our print-friendly Complete Hospice Resource Guide.

Hospice Care

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Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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