Hospice Care in a Nursing Home

Patient & Family Teaching Sheet

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Can Nursing Home Residents Receive Hospice Care?

Hospice care can be provided in a nursing home because this is the home of the nursing home resident. Hospice staff complements the nursing home staff to provide advanced illness care focusing on physical, social, emotional, and spiritual support.  Hospice can improve comfort for the resident,  provide support to the family and work with the nursing staff to maintain the quality of life for the resident while in the nursing home.

The hospice Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) works together with the resident and family, along with the nursing home staff, to ensure the resident’s and family’s goals are met and to support end-of-life care. Many members of the hospice IDT are professionals specializing in the care of people with advanced illnesses. Team members include the resident, the resident’s family, registered nurses (RN), licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/LVN), doctors, advance practice nurses (APN), chaplains, social workers (SW), certified nursing assistants (CNA), volunteers and bereavement counselors.

What Services Can Hospice Provide?

Services and benefits include:

  • Facilitating discussions about advance care planning to meet resident and family goals and desires.
  • Focusing on pain and symptom management.
  • Recognizing changes in signs/symptoms of an end-stage terminal illness.
  • Assisting with communication among the resident, family, and nursing home staff.
  • Reducing the need for hospitalization, allowing the resident to stay in the nursing hom
  • Offering education and support to family members to improve their comfort level with the resident’s condition, care, and quality of life.
  • Support care provided by trained volunteers.
  • Follow-up bereavement services.
  • On-call hospice staff available 24/7 for consultation and site visits, if

Who Pays for Hospice?

Hospice is paid for through the Medicare hospice benefit, Medicaid hospice benefit, most private insurers, and/or the U.S.  Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The hospice benefit pays for services of the IDT, medicines, equipment, and supplies relating to terminal illness. For detailed information about financial responsibilities, including room and board and other potential charges, speak with a member of your healthcare team and/or your insurance provider.

For additional information on Medicare hospice benefits, visit the website www.medicare.gov.


Hospice services are provided wherever the person lives, whether in their own home, a family member’s home, or a nursing home. The hospice IDT works with family members and the nursing home staff to provide quality care, manage pain and distressing symptoms, and offer social, emotional, and spiritual support.