The Comfort Kit are medications that can be used to treat symptoms that some hospice patients can experience during their end-of-life journey. Your attending physician (your physician overseeing your hospice cares) will determine which medications will be (or might be) needed for your loved one’s comfort. It is important to have these medications delivered and ready to use, if needed. If your nurse/caregiver never uses any of these items – that’s great. But, if your loved one does experience a symptom of discomfort, it is convenient to have these medications already in the home and ready to use immediately.
Things to know about the Comfort Kit:
- These medications must be kept out of reach of children and pets.
- These medications will be counted and monitored during your Hospice Nurse visits.
- You should always talk with your nurse first before administering any of these medications.
- Comfort Kit contents vary depending on the patient and the hospice agency. Below is a guide only, and education on these medications should always come from your Hospice Nurse.
- Your nurse should explain each of the medications in the Comfort Kit, and how to administer each of these items. If you don’t remember or need more instruction, ask your nurse to explain it again.
- These medications are for your loved one only.
- If there is any concern about the possibility of diversion in your home, notify your Hospice Nurse or your Hospice Social Worker immediately.
- Lock boxes are recommended for storage of Comfort Kits in private home settings.
- TIP: For my home patients, I like these medications kept in a bag/box above the fridge or near the fridge. This way, in case of an urgent off-hours need, the hospice team knows EXACTLY where to find these medications. I’ve seen families start to panic and then they can not remember where they put the Comfort Kit. Thus, the reason I like it on top of the fridge or near the top of the fridge (in a cabinet).
Signs & Symptoms that medications in the Comfort Kit can help with:
Acetaminophen, Morphine Sulfate
Shortness of Breath
Bisacodyl suppository, Senna-S tablets
Levsin/Hyoscyamine, Atropine drops, Scopolamine patch
Remember, every Comfort Kit is different. Comfort Kits contain different medications depending on the patient and their diagnosis/hospice agency/physician orders. ALWAYS consult with your hospice team before administration of any medications.