Question about hospice patients



I have a question about hospice care. I have a CNA and am working in home hospice (and sometimes in a facility -when needed). I am concerned with their unresponsive state (days/even hours before death). What do nurses/experienced CNA's think about repositioning? The ethical issues is to give care until they pass, but I do not want to harm them in their last stage state. Are there any views on this? I had a hospice patient last week and I repositioned every 2 hours (7pm - 7am shift), although very heavy :) - she was not 'end stage'. Question is, two hospice patients that I had were in their front position for a few days (before 1 passed) and I am concerned whether to 'reposition' when they appear comfortable. Sometimes the family does not want the person giving care to move the client.

Any suggestions?

Thank you


83 Posts

Specializes in ICU, hospice. Has 4 years experience.

A lot depends on the family, but I try not to move them if they are comfortable unless I have to ( cleaning, assessing).


1,198 Posts

Specializes in LTC, med/surg, hospice. Has 7 years experience.

If they have family I will ask. Beyond that I use my judgement. If they had pain or distress that was difficult to control and we had them settled, I would ask that they not be moved. I work inpatient hospice. Actively dying patients being repositioned is not a priority unless it aids In their comfort.

tewdles, RN

3,156 Posts

Specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice. Has 31 years experience.

Use your judgment and that of the family.

I am old(er), if I lay in one position too long it gets uncomfortable...I keep that in mind when I assess my patients.

Thank you for considering how to keep your patients most comfortable.

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

I will take the wishes of the family into consideration and not move them if that's what they want. Other wise I will turn them side to side but it's a very slight turn with a pillow under the hip to relieve the pressure on the coccyx.

Specializes in hospice, HH, LTC, ER,OR. Has 14 years experience.

Positioning is not priority when actively dying,unless its causing severe discomfort. I only move the patients for necessary ADLs.