Hospice

When the priorities of a health condition shift from cure to providing comfort and dignity for the final stages of life’s journey, the Hospice of Spencer Hospital team is there for you and your loved ones.

Hospice of Spencer Hospital cares for people of any age who are suffering from any terminal illness, keeping individuals and their unique life stories at the heart of its mission. Established in 1985 to give Northwest Iowa a compassionate alternative to traditional end-of-life care, Hospice of Spencer Hospital has grown into a strong volunteer organization and a thriving community resource.

Compassionate End-of-Life Care

Hospice of Spencer Hospital treats people wherever they need care – in home, in a care facility, or within the hospital. When hospitalization is necessary, Hospice of Spencer Hospital offers two dedicated hospice suites – a homelike facility offering inpatient-level care for those needing short-term, specialized caretaking, with an adjoining room for loved ones to remain close by.


Hospice of Spencer Hospital is committed to being the area’s resource for grief, loss and care-giver support. We offer no-cost support groups and individual counseling for anyone suffering a loss or experiencing care-giving concerns, this includes individualized bereavement care for all our families after the death of their loved one.

What you can expect from Hospice of Spencer Hospital: 

  • Patients and families are a vital part of the decision making process.
  • Hospice provides on-call availability, 24 hours a day, allowing the patient and family to reach the nurse any time, night or day, seven days a week.
  • Hospice provides continuing contact and support for family and friends for a year following the death of a loved one.

Hospice of Spencer Hospital Services

A team of professionals and volunteers provide:

  • Expertise in pain and symptom management
  • Emotional and spiritual support in coping with a life-limiting illness
  • Assistance with personal care and light housekeeping
  • Care designed specifically to meet the unique needs of each individual patient and family
  • 24 hours/7 days a week on-call availability
  • Volunteer respite care for family members
  • Bereavement support to assist families in coping with the loss of their loved one
  • Massage therapy by licensed therapists trained in hospice care
  • Music counseling provided by an experienced musician who holds a master's degree in counseling and a bachelor's degree in music. 

The Hospice Team

The Hospice Team strives for excellence in achieving the goals of comfort and quality of life for each patient and family. Under the physician's direction, the hospice team specializes in pain and symptom management, emotional, and spiritual support. The team assists the patients and families to make the most of their time together.

  • Physician Medical Director to help guide patient care services.
  • Nurses provide expertise in pain management, symptom control and supportive care.
  • Social workers help relieve emotional and social pain of patients and families as they face end-of-life issues.
  • Family clergy or hospice chaplain may be a resource and facilitator for the spiritual guidance, prayer, and rituals according to the patient's beliefs and wishes.
  • Home health aides provide personal care including bathing and some light housekeeping.
  • Pharmacists provide education and advice about medication and symptom control.
  • Therapists, including physical, occupational and speech therapists, are provided as needed for patients.
  • Dietitians are available to provide nutrition counseling.
  • Hospice volunteers can become trusted friends and companions for patients and families. They are available to visit, do a variety of chores, or simply sit with patients who do not want to be alone. Volunteers provide emotional support and help maintain a normalcy and quality of life for the family. Hospice volunteers are trained by Hospice of Spencer Hospital.
  • Bereavement coordinator helps families cope with the changes and adjustments that follow a death.
  • Massage therapists provide light-touch massage for comfort and relaxation.
  • Music counselor offers relaxing and memory-evoking music, encourages interactions and engages in conversations.

How do I know it is time for Hospice?

  • Your physician told you that you have an incurable illness and likely less than 6 months to live.
  • Over the course of weeks or months, there has been a decline in your health in spite of treatments – weight loss, decreased in activity level, increase in pain and symptoms.
  • Frequent admissions to hospitals and emergency rooms
  • You choose comfort care versus aggressive treatment.
  • You and your family need more assistance in the home in caring for your loved one.
  • Too often people are admitted to Hospice during the final few days of their life and wish they would have had Hospice sooner.

Does Hospice mean I’m giving up?

We understand that making the decision to accept Hospice is often a difficult decision. Confronting the reality that an illness is incurable may be frightening for many individuals and it may be thought that accepting hospice means giving up hope. Hope changes with the start of hospice care from “hope for a cure of an illness” to hope for...

  • Comfort
  • Treatment choices known and respected
  • Personal and business closure achieved
  • Respect for dignity
  • Emotional and spiritual support for self and family

Hospice Care is affordable

Medicare and Medicaid patients are covered for all Hospice servicesÍž many other medical insurance policies cover Hospice care as well. Hospice also has a special fund to help families with limited financial resources. These funds are donated by friends and families of Hospice of Spencer Hospital.