Hospice

Community Provider of Comfort, Care and Compassion

nurse holding patient hand

Hospice is a service for patients who have a life expectancy of six months or less. Care goals change from treating the disease to providing comfort care. When patients are free of pain and other distressing symptoms, their energy can focus on what is important to them. This leads to better quality of life.

Great River Health System-Hospice has provided end-of-life physical, emotional and spiritual care to patients and families in Des Moines, Henry, Lee and Louisa counties since 2002. We have earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval by demonstrating compliance with the commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety. Our Hospice is certified by Medicare and Medicaid.

Why choose Great River Health System-Hospice?

Our Hospice provides complete physical, emotional and spiritual care in a patient’s home or our Hospice House. So why choose us?

  • We’re locally owned, and we're managed by people who are your neighbors.
  • We are a service of Great River Health System, which enhances care transitions and access to other medical services.
  • We are a not-for-profit organization.
  • We have the area’s only hospice house.
  • We have a higher percentage of nurses who are certified in hospice and palliative care than most other hospice care providers.
  • We have more than 150 local volunteers.
  • We offer a comprehensive music care program.
  • We provide access to quality care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay through our charity-care program.

When to call our Hospice

The decision to request hospice care is a personal one. Generally, the earlier the patients and families begin to receive hospice services, the more they benefit.

A patient should consider hospice care if:

  • Activities of daily living have become difficult
  • Pain is not well-controlled
  • Symptoms are increasingly uncomfortable and difficult to manage
  • Treatment will no longer cure the disease

Our Hospice team

Our team coordinates the best course of care for each patient:

  • Physicians
  • Registered nurses
  • Social workers/grief support counselors
  • Chaplains
  • Certified nursing assistants
  • Hospice House nursing aides
  • Volunteers
  • Pharmacist
  • Dietitian
  • Musicians
  • Therapists – physical, occupational, speech and massage
  • Community Relations Advisory Board

Our bereavement program

Our care doesn’t end with the death of a patient. Because we recognize the time following a loved one's death is often difficult, we provide a 13-month comprehensive bereavement program to help survivors through the grieving process. In includes:

  • Individual grief counseling
  • Supportive telephone phone calls and information
  • A memorial service

We also provide a free community support group and grief workshops throughout the year.

Grief Support Library

The Grief Support Library in our Hospice House is open to the community. Books may be checked out for one month at no cost. Other resources may be used in the house from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Grief Support Library was funded by a grant from the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 150.