What is hospice care?


In our recent newspaper articles, Al, a typical patient with congestive heart failure, has decided he no longer wants to pursue active treatment and has chosen to begin receiving care from Merrimack Valley Hospice.     

When a patient decides that curative treatment is no longer appropriate or effective, hospice care becomes the compassionate and dignified option.  Whenever possible, the patient receives care in his or her own home by a team of expertly trained hospice professionals.  All services are designed to meet the physical, emotional and social needs of the patient and the equally important needs of the family.  The hospice team consists of: 

  • Medical directors, board certified in hospice and palliative care, who follows each patients care and is available for consultation and home visits
  • Registered nurses who act as the patients care manager and provide expert pain and symptom control
  • Social workers who provide emotional support and counseling to the patient and family
  • Home health aides who provide personal care and other assistance such as light housekeeping and meal preparation.


In addition, Merrimack Valley Hospice can provide a variety of alternative therapies such as massage, Reiki, and the expressive therapies of music and art.  Bereavement and Volunteers services are available to families and caregivers.

Although every individual is different, experience has shown that early referrals to hospice are most beneficial to the patient both physically and emotionally.  Ultimately, the decision to choose hospice belongs to the patient.   For more information on all hospice has to offer, visit Merrimack Valley Hospice on this web site.

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