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If you and family agree to talk to hospice the doctor's staff can suggest local agencies and make a referral. If you have an agency that you are familiar with and prefer you can request that the call be made to the agency you know. If you are unclear about what hospice is you need to talk with the nurse carefully about your expectations. Hospice typically provides support to family caregivers as a patient's condition declines. Hospice does not provide large blocks of care. In fact to stay at home with hospice usually requires family committed to providing 24/7 care, if not at the beginning, certainly are time passes. You could hire a caregiver privately to help and have hospice but hospice does not provide 24/7 care in the home. Some patients are placed in skilled nursing facilities at the end of life with hospice services if there is not a caregiver available. An initial visit by hospice, by no means commits you to starting services. You have every right to sit and talk and think and take a few days to decide. It is right for some, not others. If the office is not following through you can locate agencies in the phone book, explain you situation and they will often call the doctors themselves and start the process.
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