Inpatient Care


Inpatient care for hospice patients is provided when the patient would like to remain at home, but needs certain services that cannot be offered at home.

Who Needs Inpatient Hospice Care?

Hospice patients may need inpatient care if they experience the following:

  • Unmanageable pain
  • Uncontrolled seizures
  • Pathological fractures
  • Uncontrolled nausea and vomiting
  • Unmanageable respiratory distress
  • Sudden deterioration requiring intensive nursing intervention
  • Unmanageable agitation or restlessness that requires intensive intervention
  • Need for intravenous medications to relieve symptoms, requiring close monitoring
  • Wound care requiring complex and/or frequent dressing changes that must be done in a different facility
  • Need for medical procedures to improve patient comfort, such as removing fluid from the belly area (paracentesis) or inserting a permanent drain or tube

Where Can Patients Receive Inpatient Hospice Care?

Inpatient care may be provided in a hospital, nursing facility, and free-standing hospice houses able to provide around-the-clock clinical care.

The atmosphere in an inpatient hospice setting is much more relaxed than that of an acute-care facility. The inpatient hospice facility is calm and home-like, with staff members moving at an unhurried pace and taking the time to talk with the patient and family, and answer their questions.

Family members and friends of all ages are welcome to visit any time of day and night. In addition, staff can make arrangements for overnight stays.

In this environment, hospice patients receive care for intensive pain and symptoms. The goal of inpatient hospice care is to stabilize the patient so that they can return home to routine hospice care.

The responsibilities of the inpatient hospice care team include:

  • Symptom evaluation
  • Intensive symptom management
  • Around-the-clock care
  • Scheduling routine visits from family members

As a result, the inpatient care team is generally able to manage and control the patient’s symptoms in a relatively short time, usually in just a few days, allowing the patient to return home.

Inpatient Hospice Units And Suites

Hospice units are designed and decorated with the needs of patients and their families in mind. Each unit functions as a home away from home, providing comfort and dignity while the patient receives intensive care.

Units are often equipped with family rooms, kitchens, children’s play areas, and places for quiet contemplation or prayer. These facilities accommodate the needs of multiple generations.

Hospice Care In Hospitals And Nursing Homes

Certain hospice-eligible patients who are receiving acute care treatment in a hospital or nursing home cannot be safely relocated to their home or for inpatient care. In these instances, Comforting Care will collaborate with the patient’s facility and attending staff to coordinate comfort-focused care, manage symptoms, and make arrangements for a smooth transition to the patient’s preferred setting, when possible.

Whether the hospice patient is staying in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, a Comforting Care team supports staff in providing intensive care. Facility staff can also turn to Comforting Care for clinical guidance, education on end-of-life care, and assistance with medication management.

When members of our interdisciplinary team are unable to access a facility due to safety restrictions, Comforting Care will utilize telehealth capabilities to make assessments, discuss goals of care, and provide a variety of integrative services.

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