Hospice Care in Greater DeKalb County – Northwestern Medicine Home Health and Hospice

When to Call Hospice

It's never too early to call Northwestern Medicine Home Health and Hospice at Kishwaukee Hospital. Even if you are not ready to begin hospice care, we may be able to answer your questions or find a resource that would be helpful to you and your loved ones. It's easier to make calls and ask questions before a crisis situation arises.

To make a referral to Northwestern Medicine Home Health and Hospice at Kishwaukee Hospital:

  • Call on your own behalf
  • Call on behalf of a family member or loved one
  • Request that your physician or provider contact hospice on your behalf

A physician often recommends hospice care and must certify your diagnosis and prognosis of 6 months or less in their best judgment, before end-of-life care can begin. You have the final say in deciding if hospice is right for you. You can also choose to stop your hospice care if you choose to resume aggressive treatment. You can resume Hospice care when you are, again wanting Hospice services.

Making that first phone call to hospice can be emotionally challenging, whether you are calling for yourself or for someone you love.  At Northwestern Medicine Home Health and Hospice at Kishwaukee Hospital, we strive to answer your questions and calm your fears.

Call hospice when:

  • You are looking for information about advance directives to help you communicate your healthcare decisions
  • You have questions about end-of-life issues, for yourself or your loved ones
  • You need guidance in making realistic care plans for you or for someone else dealing with end-of-life care challenges
  • Being a caregiver or grief from loss are negatively affecting your life
  • When you or your loved one no longer desires curative and/or aggressive treatment
  • When your physician has told you that the treatments you are receiving are no longer effective and you have a terminal illness with limited life expectancy


Northwestern Medicine Home Health and Hospice at Kishwaukee Hospital care is individualized for each patient based on:

  • The patient’s input
  • Input from caregivers
  • Orders and feedback from patient’s primary physician
  • Input from the hospice team of professionals who have extensive education and experience in end-of-life care
Our staff can provide you with information about other community resources as well.

Home Health and Hospice Care

Hospice Benefits

  • Bereavement Support for Family, Friends, and Community
  • Caregiver Support
  • Chaplain visits by the Hospice Chaplain are offered and available to patient and/or family.
  • Complementary Therapies: These include music therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and pet therapy.
  • Durable Medical Equipment: This includes medical supplies and equipment such as oxygen, wheel chairs, commodes, beds, lift chairs, and other supplies as needed.
  • Medications related to patients’ comfort and the treatment of symptoms related to the terminal diagnosis.
  • Home Health Aides and Homemaker Services: Aides can assist with personal care such as bathing, washing hair, trimming nails, changing bed linens, and feeding.
  • Nursing Care: Hospice nursing care is available 24 hours a day. Nurses are on-call to answer questions or make a visit. Nurses visit as often as needed to manage the symptoms that develop as disease progresses. They are also there to support caregivers.
  • Pain Control and Symptom Management: Hospice nurses are skilled at pain and symptom management and work closely with your primary care doctor or specialist.
  • Social Services: Hospice Social Worker can assist in making caregiver plans, funeral arrangements or work with families on complicated issues that often occur when there is a crisis in a family.
  • Physician Services
  • Special Outreach Programs for Veterans
  • Volunteers: These compassionate, specially trained individuals are available for emotional support and practical help.