Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Merrimack Valley Hospice

What is hospice care?
Hospice is a type of compassionate care for patients whose illness is no longer responding to treatment and who have no hope for a cure. Hospice care is designed to improve the quality of the patient’s life by providing comfort care and personalized service including:

  • Expert medical care
  • Comprehensive pain management
  • Emotional and spiritual support


Additionally, support is provided to the patient’s family throughout the illness and for at least one year beyond.

At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.


While on hospice care can I still use my regular doctor?
Yes.  We encourage you to continue using your primary physician.  The care team of Merrimack Valley Hospice will communicate with your physician while you are receiving services.


My mother is in a nursing home. Can she still receive hospice care?
Yes. Merrimack Valley Hospice is committed to caring for patients nearing end-of-life whatever setting is currently called “home.”  Private homes, nursing homes, assisted livings, or hospitals are all sites where hospice care can be provided.


Can a hospice patient who shows signs of getting better be returned to active treatment?
Yes. If the patient’s condition improves and the patient seems to be recuperating, patients can be discharged from hospice and return to aggressive therapy or even normal living. If the patient needs hospice care at a later date, the patient could be re-admitted to hospice.


Does hospice do anything to make death come sooner?
No.  Hospice neither hastens nor postpones dying.


A member of my family recently passed away. Where can I find a support group to help me with my grief?
Merrimack Valley Hospice provides a variety of support groups for people grieving the loss of a loved one. For a complete list of support groups available in your area or call 800-475-8335.  Click here and be redirected to the Bereavement Support page where you can download a flyer of upcoming support groups.


What cities and towns do you cover?
Merrimack Valley Hospice provides care in more than 110 cities and towns in the Merrimack Valley, Northeastern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and the seacoast of southern Maine.  Click here for a full list of the cities and towns of our service area.