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Indiana University Health Hospice provides comfort to patients during the final stages of life. We are committed to providing personalized service and a coordinated care plan to help terminally ill patients retain control and quality of life during their remaining days.
The main goal of hospice is to provide compassionate care that meets the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of patients facing the end of life. The integrated, family-centered team of trained professionals at IU Health understands how to assist patients in this time of transition and help them carry out personal choices. Hospice care is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to anyone facing a life-limiting illness with a life expectancy of six months or less. We attend to patients wherever they reside—at home, in assisted living facilities or in the hospital.
Indiana University Health University Hospital Hospice is made up of an interdisciplinary team of specialized physicians, nurses, social workers and other trained staff. This team provides complete end-of-life care, while maintaining respect for individual needs and concerns. Frequent communication between clinical staff and a patient’s physician ensures that patient and family needs are met.
Services provided by IU Health University Hospital Hospice include nursing visits, respite care for caregivers, pharmaceutical services, medical social work, spiritual care, counseling services, 24-hour, on-call support and service, family support and education, inpatient hospital care for emergencies, bereavement program and family grief support, and support groups and seminars.
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IU Health University Hospital Hospice physicians work closely with physicians to gather medical history, order necessary tests and make home visits, as needed. Hospice physicians are experts in pain and symptom control at the end of life and collaborate with a patient’s entire team to determine appropriate medical interventions.
Nurses will visit patients and families in the home or nursing home to assess pain, symptoms, nutritional status, functions, psychosocial concerns, spiritual needs and safety issues. The hospice nurse will review an overall plan of care and educate patients and family members about disease progression, use of medications and daily needs.
The nursing staff at IU Health Hospice is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergencies and will see patients as often as needed, depending on the disease progression and the patient’s concerns. Patients staying in the hospital may be seen by hospice liaisons who are available at all times to respond quickly to inpatient needs.
In addition to nursing services, a hospice aide can assist patients with activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing, as needed.
Patients may choose to have a social worker as part of their care team. Social workers attend to both the practical and counseling needs of the patient and family, including:
- Arranging for durable medical equipment
- Assisting with discharge planning (from hospital to home)
- Assisting with funeral and burial arrangements
- Serving as a liaison with community agencies
- Locating services to address financial or legal matters
- Assessing anxiety, depression, changing and caregiver stress
Beyond physician, nursing and social services, hospice volunteers are an important component of a patient’s care. Trained volunteers provide assistance to patients and caregivers, offering respite and helping with daily chores like light housekeeping or grocery shopping. They are also an important resource for helping patients stay connected with community groups and activities or facilitating special projects, such as memoirs or letters to family members.
Chaplain services are available by patient choice to help families sustain their religious practices when a family member is nearing the end of life. A chaplain provides spiritual counseling and helps both patients and their families cope with illness, dying and grief by drawing strength through religious and spiritual beliefs. In addition, the role of the chaplain is to ensure the patient’s particular religious or spiritual beliefs and practices are respected. He or she may conduct funeral and memorial services, if requested by the family.
For Patients and Physicians
Any physician, healthcare professional, healthcare agency or family member may refer a patient to IU Health Hospice. Patient referrals are accepted 24 hours a day, seven days a week.