We focus on maintaining quality of life for patients facing the end of life
Our specialists work together to support the patient and their family through compassionate care.
Indiana University Health Hospice provides patients and their families with family-centered care delivered by highly trained professionals. Care from our integrated team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We provide assistance to your loved one wherever they reside and help them carry out the activities and personal choices that add meaning to life.
Our comprehensive care includes both traditional and complementary or alternative services.
Select a Hospice service below to access information from our Health Library as well as how IU Health can help.
IU Health Hospice, with ongoing coordination with your physician, provides traditional hospice services focusing on symptom management and pain control. Traditional hospice care includes 24-hour on-call support and service. Hospice care services include nursing visits, respite care, pharmaceutical services, medical social work, spiritual care and counseling services. No one can prepare you for the feelings you will experience leading up and following the death of loved one. IU Health Hospice offers several bereavement and family support groups and seminars for both patients and their loved ones to help them through this time.
Complementary and Alternative Services
Complementary and alternative services offered by IU Health Hospice are intended to help improve the quality of life for hospice patients. Complementary and alternative services such as music therapy, massage therapy, and art therapy help to improve and enhance physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Our bereavement counselors are skilled in supporting families as they work through their grief. During your loved one’s illness, grief counselors are available from the beginning stages of mourning until you feel you no longer need bereavement services.
Patients sometimes need grief counseling to let go of particular concerns as they go through the end-of-life process. We provide this care as part of our full support for you and your family.
Home Health Aide Service
Hospice aides perform many personal care tasks for your loved one. Home Health Aide Services include shaving, nail care, baths and other elements of personal hygiene.
IU Health Hospice provides care in many settings including private homes, extended care facilities, hospice houses and hospitals. Hospice care can be provided wherever the patient is located. If you are unable to continue to care for your loved one at home, our hospice team can assist with arranging other caregiving options.
Inpatient care is available to your loved one for symptom management (such as pain control) when that symptom cannot be controlled in any other setting.
Our hospice nurses make home and hospital visits to monitor symptoms and medicines. Your nurse is your primary source for information about medicines and about what is happening as your loved one’s illness progresses. He or she prepares you for changes in your family member’s condition. Your nurse also serves as the link between you and your physician.
Your palliative care physician along with the hospice medical director develops a care plan with you and your loved one. The physician follows this care plan, prescribing medicines to maintain your family member’s physical comfort. We administer expert palliative care in whatever setting is appropriate for the level of care your loved one needs. Your physician manages medicines, adjusting doses and adding or removing medicines as needed.
Providing care for an ill family member may be intense and taxing. We offer respite care in partner facilities for your loved one to give you and your family some time away from the stress of caregiving. Both you and your family member benefit from this time for you to relax.
Your social worker coordinates hospice care and services and gives you access to a wealth of information and resources. He or she helps you and your family manage the many details and challenges that come with a loved one’s life-limiting illness. Your social worker assists with emotional support, end-of-life planning and continuous assessment to determine what resources may be helpful for you. You can plan memory-making activities with your social worker, and he or she will use resources available to make these activities possible.
Various social service agencies and other organizations offer a wide range of support for families of hospice patients. Your social worker can connect you with funding sources, counseling, specialized grief care for children and many other services.
Difficult questions of life’s meaning and purpose sometimes arise during hospice care. Fears and questions are normal. Our hospice chaplains at IU Health help you, your loved one and your family face these challenges. We perform a variety of rituals and prayer services and have extensive experience supporting people of many cultures and faiths.
When needed, we bring spiritual leaders to give additional spiritual comfort. Our services are available to any patient or family member who needs them at any time in the end-of-life process.
Additional services include, but are not limited to:
- Comfort through the management of symptoms
- Care from knowledgeable and compassionate staff
- Emotional and spiritual support for you and your loved one
- Assistance with daily living activities
- Massage therapy
- Bereavement support
Why is hospice care important?
Hospice brings peace of mind by providing assistance, medications, equipment and education to you and your family. It enables you to give your loved one the highest possible level of physical comfort and dignity at end of life. With reduced pain and care for immediate physical needs, your loved one is free to enjoy time with you and your family.
Hospice care is available for any person with a life-limiting illness and a life expectancy of six months or less if the disease proceeds as expected. The main goal of hospice is to provide quality and compassionate care that meets the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of patients facing the end of life. Hospice also supports families with information about your loved one’s changing condition and with bereavement support.
How does hospice care work?
Hospice provides what is called “palliative care,” which is different from the kind of care intended to cure disease. Palliative care specialists treat pain and symptoms of disease, providing for your loved one some freedom from the pain and stress that often accompany life-limiting illnesses.
In addition to palliative medical care, nurses and health aides provide assistance with activities of daily living. Spiritual counselors help you and your loved one face the kinds of emotional challenges that come with acceptance of hospice care. Social works provide emotional support and resources. Bereavement counselors help you and your family on the path to acceptance of your loved one’s death.
Death is a natural part of life. Hospice helps you and your loved one use these precious days, weeks or months to come to terms with the fears and grief that naturally accompany death. With this understanding can come the fulfillment of knowing this time is well spent.
IU Health Hospice is affiliated with the Indiana University School of Medicine
Our palliative care specialists from Indiana University School of Medicine work to relieve pain and other symptoms using the most up-to-date methods and practices available. The palliative care physicians collaborate with the hospice team, patient and family to improve quality of life and make this often difficult time as peaceful and fulfilling as possible.
Learn more about hospice care
You can find more information about hospice care and how it can improve the lives of your loved one and family by visiting these websites:
- Hospice Foundation of America HFA provides in-depth information about hospice care for family, caregivers and others involved in supporting and caring for those with life-limiting conditions.
- National Hospice Foundation NHF is an education and outreach organization that also raises funds to improve hospice care nationally.
- Caring Connections Caring Connections is a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) that provides people with information and support when they are caring for a loved one, living with illness or grieving a loss.
- National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization NHPCO is an advocacy and education organization for hospice providers and families.