While anyone can make a referral call, the decision to choose hospice should be made by the patient and family, with the input of their physician. Throughout the course of the illness, open and honest discussion about treatment options is very important, and that includes the benefits and burdens of treatment, as well as the option of choosing hospice care when the time is appropriate. If a patient or family feels the physician is reluctant to discuss hospice care, it is always appropriate for one or the other to broach the subject or call HKV for consult or information.

It is important to talk about end-of-life care with your loved ones and your physician so they will know your wishes. Talking about hospice care and other treatment options before care is needed may make the decision easier for you or a loved one. Hospice of Kankakee Valley offers complimentary copies of the Five Wishes Healthcare Power of Attorney form. This is a user-friendly advance directive that uses plain language to guide the user through expressing his or her wishes for care and becomes a legal document when signed by the participant. HKV periodically offers educational sessions explaining the implementation of Five Wishes. Call the HKV office at (815) 939-4141 to request a copy of Five Wishes.