Deciding What Care is Best

When a cure is no longer a solution, it’s time to talk about palliative and hospice care for you or a loved one with a terminal illness. After countless hours at the hospital for tests, treatments, specialist consultations and more, having the conversation with someone you love about what future steps may be best can be difficult, but beneficial.

Transitioning to hospice or palliative care is a decision that can be made under the support and guidance of a primary care physician. In conjunction with Family Hospice, the delicate conversation can be easier. With our help, we can navigate with you the unchartered waters that lie ahead. At Family Hospice, we are able to:

  • Explain the advance directives and the new DNR forms (IL Department of Health).
  • Family Hospice nurses can help explain goals of comfort care and offer ongoing support to the patient and family.
  • It’s the priority of Family Hospice to provide for the needs of the patient and family, providing equipment and arranging for prescriptions.
  • In many cases, Medicare Hospice Benefits provides coverage for medication, supplies, equipment and a variety of services related to the patient’s condition.

Palliative care and hospice defined.

Both palliative care and hospice care focuses on keeping the patient comfortable, providing medication and treatments that aim at optimizing the quality of life for someone faced with a serious or complex illness. Palliative care can begin sooner, at the diagnosis of an illness, whereas hospice happens when the treatment of an illness has ceased and the main goal transitions to comfort care.

Individuals seeking medical treatment can also receive palliative care, which can be beneficial for months, or even years. Many Family Hospice families have indicated that they wish hospice care started sooner for their loved ones, beginning at or around six months of a terminal diagnosis.

Who can refer a patient?

Simply stated, anyone can refer a patient to hospice. Whether it’s a nurse, doctor or a loved one, referrals can be made by calling Family Hospice at (618) 277-1800. Learn more by visiting our referral page on our website here. Upon making the referral, Family Hospice will contact the patient’s primary care physician to seek evaluation approval. Admission criteria will need to be approved following specific guidelines and if the patient qualifies to receive care. Family Hospice notifies the doctor, patient, family and any caregivers of the determination.

What’s next?

If everyone agrees that admission is right for the patient, a comprehensive assessment is then used to identify the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient. Next, a plan is initiated to meet the patient’s needs and services, equipment, prescriptions and medical supplies are set up.

About Family Hospice

Family Hospice is a non-profit, independent healthcare organization that helps guide patients and families through their journey, providing professional care and many other support services. To make a donation to or to learn about Family Hospice, please call (618) 277-1800. You can also learn more about Family Hospice by following them on Facebook or visiting them online at




In supporting our Tree of Memories program through the holiday season, we make ornaments available at our kiosk at St. Clair Square from November 30 through December 22.


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We truly value our volunteers and the passion they bring to our family. Our 150 volunteers are dedicated to furthering the mission of hospice and supporting your family during this trying time.


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map5110 W. Main St.
Belleville, IL

P: 618-277-1800
F: 618-277-1074


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