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When is hospice care appropriate?

Hospice care (provided by Merrimack Valley Hospice, our Wellforce hospice provider), is the best choice when curative treatments are no longer effective or desired, and the goals for health care are pain management, symptom control, emotional and spiritual comfort, and support for families. We care for patients with a variety of medical conditions and for patients of all ages. By regulation, hospice care can begin when the patient's physician determines that life expectancy is six months or less, assuming that the illness runs its usual course.

Patients who are currently receiving Circle Home palliative care services as part of their home health care, and who may make the decision to choose hospice care in the future, will experience a smooth transition to Merrimack Valley Hospice.

Patients and families who choose hospice sooner rather than later receive the full advantage of all the additional services that hospice has to offer. "I just wish we knew about this program sooner!" is a comment we often hear from families who have experienced the benefits of our hospice program.

Even before hospice is indicated or chosen, patients and families are welcome to learn more about hospice as part of their planning for possible future options. Merrimack Valley Hospice staff is available at any time to discuss the hospice option, or to meet with the patient and family for an evaluation visit.

For more information, call Merrimack Valley Hospice at 800-933-5593 or 978-552-4401.