Hospice in a Nursing Home

Hospices provide specialized care to terminally ill patients exclusively.  Though the services are traditionally provided in the home, residents of a long term care facility also have the option of this type of care. 

When a hospice patient resides in a long term care facility, the resident is considered primarily a hospice patient.  The hospice team is responsible for management of the plan of care, and facility provides the room and board.

Room and board in this situation generally includes personal care services, assistance with ADL's, administration of medications, cleaning the resident's room, meals, and activities.  The hospice provides nursing care, hospice aide services, therapies, medications, medical supplies, medical social services, counseling, clergy services and volunteers.

In this situation, the facility is considered the place of residence and, therefore, hospice staff are permitted to function just as they would in a resident's own home.  The hospice nurse may assess, obtain physician orders, perform treatments, administer medication, draw blood and any other functions they would carry out if the resident were at home.  A hospice aide may bathe the resident, the hospice social worker may counsel, the hospice volunteer may visit, or the hospice massage therapist may provide a massage.  In other words, it is permissable for the hospice staff to do anything within the facility that they would normally do in the patient's home.  Hospice staff assume full responsibility and accountability for the care they provide, no matter what the setting.