The Roles We Play in Hospice Care

Our team of professionals at Northwestern Medicine Home Health and Hospice work with patients and families to address symptoms of disease progression, with an emphasis on alleviating pain and discomfort. Our team works hand in hand with families to help ensure patients receive excellent care.

The Role of the Hospice Care Team

The hospice team includes several professionals who are responsible for various aspects of patient care and family support. The team includes:

  • The hospice medical director
  • A nurse to manage symptoms and coordinate care
  • A certified nursing assistant for personal care
  • A social worker who provides resource planning and emotional support to the patient and family
  • A chaplain for spiritual support
  • A registered dietitian for nutritional support
  • A massage therapist to assist with comfort
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapists as needed to enhance safety and quality of life
  • Specially trained volunteers for companionship

The Family’s Role in Hospice Care

In many cases, a family member serves as the primary caregiver and makes decisions on behalf of the patient, as appropriate. A nurse and other members of the care team will instruct and empower the family and caregivers on how to manage the patient’s care at home.

Frequency of visits from the care team is at the discretion of the nurse and based on the patient’s symptoms and needs. In between visits, hospice staff can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week.