End-of-Life Care

Location of Care

OU Medical Center


How We Can Help
Our program offers a wide range of supportive care services to patients and their families. These benefits include:

• Easing symptoms that cause distress like pain, fatigue, anxiety, nausea and breathing problems.
• Spiritual support from chaplains who specialize in end-of-life care.
• Emotional support for the patient and family.
• Social services and financial consultant services to assist with financial concerns.
• Coordination of care with outside providers, if needed, to include on-site consultations.
• Referral to grief services for families.
• Access to additional services, including No One Dies Alone and We Honor Veterans programs.

As your loved one transitions through the dying process, you may begin to see some of the following changes:

• Withdrawal from loved ones and staff
• Decreased desire to eat or drink
• Increase in time spent sleeping
• Decrease in talking
• Increase in anxiety and confusion
• Decreased urine production
• Increase in respirations, congestion and
difficulty breathing
• Changes in skin color and temperature
• Surge of energy followed by decrease in
• Loss of bowel and bladder function

Difficult Decisions

While dying is the natural end to life, caring for someone throughout this process can be very challenging. Information, as well as emotions, are often overwhelming. As your loved one's health status changes, we want to offer 
you support and guidance as you face difficult decisions. During this time of uncertainty, our palliative care team is here to answer questions, offer resources, discuss options and provide comfort.

End-of-Life Options

As the end of life approaches, there are a variety of options in comfort care. Availability varies based on diagnosis, condition, prognosis and insurance. The following are a few of the most common options:

• In-hospital comfort care: For patients near the end of life (within 48-72 hours), OU Medical Center can provide in-house care.
• Inpatient hospice: ​Patients near the end of life (within one week) can receive services while residing at a hospice house. Admission to services may be made from the hospital or from a home hospice agency.
• At-home hospice care: Patients within six months of death can be transferred home. Family or caregiver provides primary care with frequent visits from hospice staff to provide nursing services, physician guidance, medication management, equipment, medications and supportive services.
• In-facility hospice: Similar to at-home hospice, this option is appropriate for patients who are within six months of death and are unable to return home. Care is provided in conjunction with the staff of a skilled nursing facility.

Additional end-of-life-care services include:
We Honor Veterans Program

No One Dies Alone Program
Pet Therapy 

To read more about palliative care, click here