Home hospice care keeps families connected during pandemic

When family members are diagnosed with a terminal illness, time is precious. Many people prefer to spend that time in the comfort of their own home. Hospice of the Western Reserve (HWR) is making that happen, even in the midst of a pandemic.

Technology is used to protect patients, families and staff. Nurses conduct in-person visits during admission and whenever needed to manage symptoms. Hospice nursing assistants (HNAs) help with personal care. Nurses and HNAs always follow safety protocols, wearing masks and gloves.

Telehealth capabilities allow nurses, social workers and spiritual care coordinators to conduct video-based visits and maintain weekly contact. Social work and spiritual care services, as well as art and music therapies, are available through video visits or telephone check-ins.

HWR’s support staff – available through a 24-hour help line – is skilled at managing calls and providing appropriate care. In an emergency, such as a new uncontrolled symptom, the hospice team helps families assess and manage the circumstances, which may involve a visit to the home.

Care is provided not only for the patient, but the entire family. That includes bereavement support for more than a year after a loved one’s death. The agency’s Western Reserve Grief Services offers programs to support grieving families, including counseling, virtual support groups and art therapy workshops and specialized programs for children.

For families seeking help, an in-person admissions visit from a nurse can be scheduled the same day if needed. For more information, contact Hospice of the Western Reserve seven days a week, 24 hours a day at 216-383-3700, or visit

Bill Finn is President and CEO of Hospice of the Western Reserve.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

17876 St. Clair Ave.

Cleveland, OH 44110-2602


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