Hospice is a special way of caring for terminally ill people, their families and their caregivers.

Most people do not want to die alone in sterile, impersonal surroundings, hooked up by tubes to machines and cut off from their family and friends and everything that is familiar. Nor do they want to die in pain. They would prefer, if possible, to spend their last days at home...alert and free of pain...among the people and things they love. Hospice makes this possible.

Hospice treats the physical needs of patients and their emotional and spiritual needs. Care is provided primarily in the home and concentrates on making patients as free of pain and as comfortable as they want to be so that they can make the most of the time that remains to them.

In our great-grandparents time, birth and death were commonplace in the family home and accepted as natural events. Bringing death out into the open and making sickness and loss a time of sharing and remembrance is difficult. And while the Hospice experience is not for every one, those who choose Hospice find the specialness of caring for a loved one and the richness of sharing memories of youth, trials and joys a rewarding experience never to be forgotten.

No job is too big or too small for the Hospice team. It helps in every way it can.

Care may include:

  • Pain relief through medication
  • Back rubs and foot massages
  • Matters of personal cleanliness and coordination of necessary medical equipment
  • "Being there" - to let the patient know that he or she is not alone
  • Assisting with household chores and helping to put matters in order
  • Joining in favorite and familiar pastimes.

Though Hospice, professionals and volunteers are there to help; they encourage patients to be as active and to do as much for themselves as possible.

Hospice care is provided by an interdisciplinary team that accepts the end of life, and supports the patient, family and care givers in a compassionate manner.

Under the direction of the patient's physician, the following services are provided:

  • Skilled Nursing
  • Medical Supplies
  • Home Health Aides
  • Medical Equipment
  • Medications
  • Medical Social Services
  • Pastoral Care
  • Volunteer Services
  • Physician Visits
  • Bereavement Care
  • Respite Care
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Speech and Language Pathology
  • Physical & Occupational Therapy

Volunteers play an extremely important role in Hospice. Without them it would be difficult to carry on the work. Many are relatives or friends of former Hospice patients who, having seen how Hospice can help, want to contribute to its good work. Volunteers undergo a rigorous training program in order to participate in the program.

When a Medicare-eligible patient receives services from an approved Hospice, Medicare pays almost the entire cost as does Medicaid. Most private insurance companies have a Hospice benefit similar to the Medicare coverage. Calling Hospice is not "giving up" ... it is the opposite.

Hospice believes "You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but to live until you die." For further information on our Hospice program please call (505) 662-2525.


Evergreen Hospice with the help of firefighters make a dying man wish come true.  Click on link to view this touching video:



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Visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization web site for additional information about Hospice.

Directions and Contact

Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service
2202 Canyon Road
Los Alamos, NM 87544
(505) 662-2525

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