Hospice Care

EveryStep Hospice helps those living with a serious illness make the best out of every day. EveryStep Hospice is Iowa's oldest and largest non-profit, community-based hospice provider. Since launching our hospice program in 1978, thousands of Iowans have turned to us to find comfort and care when they needed it most. You can find EveryStep Hospice programs based in Centerville, Des Moines, Mount Ayr, Mount Pleasant, Osceola, and Winterset. Here's what sets EveryStep apart from others:
  • The most experienced hospice care provider in Iowa. Founded in 1978, EveryStep Hospice (originally founded as Hospice of Central Iowa) was the first hospice care provider in Iowa. Our Kavanagh House in Des Moines, which opened in 1993, was one of Iowa’s first hospice houses. 
  • A free-standing, community-based hospice. EveryStep Hospice is an independent, non-profit organization. Staff and volunteers are trained specifically to work with individuals and their families who are coping with an end-stage illness.
  • No one is turned away due to an inability to pay. Thanks to the EveryStep Foundation and generous donors, EveryStep Hospice is able to serve hospice-appropriate patients regardless of their ability to pay or their insurance coverage.
  • High educational standards for staff. Our hospice team members are held to a high level of excellence and are given the supports they need to learn and develop skills that will best service patients.
  • Quality of life program. Whether it's helping to pay for utilities because finances are tight or recreating a favorite home-cooked meal, we help our patients find quality of life on their terms. Sometimes this means fulfilling wishes and create lasting memories for patients and their families.
  • Customized services. EveryStep Hospice goes above and beyond by offering specialized care and recognition for veterans, support for patients' pets, Life Review recordings of patients talking about their lives, and much more.
  • Weekend and evening availability. EveryStep's staff is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to our patients' needs.
  • Dedicated volunteers. EveryStep’s corps of more than 700 volunteers is key to providing quality care and support for our mission.
  • Community-based care teams. With multiple locally-based teams in communities across Iowa, we are a solid, trusted presence serving nearly half of Iowa's counties. We have teams in Centerville, Creston, Des Moines, Mount Ayr, Mount Pleasant, Osceola, and Winterset.
  • A valuable resource for the community. Our grief and loss services are available to the entire community through counseling, resources, and a variety of support groups. We also offer programs and resources to help train and support caregivers.
  • Veteran support. EveryStep is recognized as a Level Four Partner through We Honor Veterans.
  • Proven quality. EveryStep is certified by the Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP), and we are frequently recognized as a Top Workplace by the Des Moines Register.

Contact a Team Near You

Team Location


Counties Served



Appanoose, Davis, Lucas, Mahaska, Monroe, Wapello, Wayne

Des Moines


Boone, Dallas, Greene, Hamilton, Jasper, Marion, Marshall, Polk, Story, Webster

Kavanagh House
(Des Moines)



Mount Ayr


Adams, Decatur, Ringgold, Taylor, Union

Mount Pleasant


Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee, Louisa, Van Buren, Washington



Clarke, Warren



Adair, Guthrie, Madison


With You at EveryStep Podcast


EveryStep Hospice House

Most hospice care is provided through in-home hospice services. However, when a patient needs around-the-clock hospice care to manage their pain and symptoms, our hospice house is available. The Kavanagh House provides a home-like atmosphere with private bedrooms, living rooms, family kitchens, children's play areas, and other family amenities. Patients and families can also enjoy being outdoors where they are surrounded by nature and scenic gardens. Respite care, a period of time up to five days in which the primary caregiver is relieved of caregiving, is also available.

EveryStep's Kavanagh House, 

900 56th Street, Des Moines, IA 50312
(515) 255-0857 
Established 1993, Renovated 2021

EveryStep Hospice Care Team

You and your family decide on the services right for you, and your hospice care team works to help with your needs. Your hospice care team nurse works with you and your family to create a customized plan for your care. The plan details the services you and your family receive. Your care plan can be changed at any time, depending on your needs. Members of the hospice team may include:

  • Patients and their families.
  • Patient’s physician and/or an EveryStep team physician or nurse practitioner.
  • Nurses who work with the patient’s physician to manage comfort and teach family members how to care for the patient.
  • Aides who help the patient bathe, walk, and get in and out of bed; remind the patient to take medications; assist with meals; and change linens and do light housekeeping.
  • Social workers who help the patient and family manage ongoing challenges related to end of life and offer emotional support and education on finances, caregiving, and end-of-life planning.
  • Spiritual care counselors who connect patients and caregivers with spiritual resources that support the dignity and comfort of each individual family and help the human spirit in its search for peace and meaning.
  • Pharmacists, therapists, and others who offer special skills, therapies, and knowledge to meet the unique needs of patients and their families.
  • Volunteers who can provide company and understanding, help with errands or prepare light meals, assist with care,  provide relief for caregivers, and provide a ride to medical appointments.
  • Bereavement counselors who are available to families throughout the end-of-life journey to provide educational materials and learning opportunities and offer support to the family for up to one year.

Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program

Today, one in four dying Americans is a Veteran. EveryStep is recognized as a Level Four Partner through We Honor Veterans. Our Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program is a special service that pairs veterans who are volunteers with patients who have served our country. Veteran partners provide companionship while talking, reading, and sitting with patients. There are some issues veterans only feel comfortable sharing with other veterans. Veterans bring a unique skill set to help patients come to terms with past events, finding peace at end of life. Our Veteran-to-Veteran volunteers bring care to patients wherever they call home: in long-term care facilities, in hospitals, and at home. Training is provided. Veteran partners may assist with honoring our patients with special “pinning” ceremonies and Veterans' Day cards or with special events. If you are interested in volunteering in our Veteran-to-Veteran program, call us today at 515-333-5810 or fill out our volunteer form.


Hospice Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is hospice care?
    Hospice offers a team approach to care of those with serious illnesses and their families. We are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the needs of our patients and families.
  • If I know of someone who is terminally ill, how can I access services?
    Anyone can call to refer a patient to hospice care. Call EveryStep Hospice at 515-333-5810 to start the process. You can also fill out a Find Care form.
  • When a person has hospice services, who will be involved in the care?
    Care is customized to each patient based on his or her care plan goals. Care and support are offered by a team of professionals, including nurses, social workers, hospice aides, volunteers, pharmacists, spiritual care counselors, bereavement counselors, team physicians, a medical director, therapists, and other health professionals.
  • Sometimes people say that choosing hospice is giving up hope. Is this true?
    Choosing hospice care is not giving up hope. In fact, choosing hospice means that the patient can look forward to living his or her remaining weeks and months in comfort with dignity and surrounded by people who care. When the focus turns from cure to care, that's when it's time to call.
  • Where do your services take place?
    Hospice care services are provided first and foremost in the home. If, for some reason, the patient can't or chooses not to stay in the home, services are also provided in area nursing homes, hospitals, and at our hospice houses.
  • Does hospice do anything to make death come sooner?
    Hospice does nothing to speed up or slow down the death process. We make the patient comfortable until death comes peacefully and naturally.
  • Should I wait for the physician to recommend hospice care, or should I bring it up during one of our visits?
    You should feel free to approach the subject of hospice care at any time with your physician. The doctor will let you know when the appropriate timing might be. You may ask for an information-only meeting so you are prepared in the future when services are needed.
  • How is the cost of hospice care covered?

    Hospice care through our organization is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance policies. We also offer a sliding fee scale for those with no coverage. The EveryStep Foundation provides hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable care each year, assuring care is available to everyone who needs it. Under Medicare and Medicaid, all costs are covered (including durable medical equipment) except for 5 percent of pharmacy costs. Private insurance coverage is per the individual's contract. Medications are usually paid at 100 percent.

Resources from EveryStep Hospice

Download our Patient & Family Handbook, a free resource that provides an overview for our hospice services, Medicare hospice benefits, and important policies and practices.

Advance directives are legal documents that allow people to give directions for their medical care. EveryStep is pleased to provide information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes.

Patients and families can receive a wide variety of services. These services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans.

Whether you're ready to commit to hospice care or want to continue learning about hospice options for you or a loved one, fill out our simple Find Care form. An EveryStep staff member will get in touch with you.

Patient and Family Handbook Advanced Care Planning Guide  Coverage and Payment Options  Find Care Form