Sawtelle Family Hospice House

The Sawtelle Family Hospice House is a “home away from home” that provides comfort care and emotional support to individuals facing a terminal illness that no longer responds to curative treatment.

VNA of Middlesex-East opened the house in 2003 for individuals who are unable or prefer not to receive hospice care in their own home. These individuals may live alone or have a spouse who is too ill or frail to provide the care they require; they may have adult children who live many miles away or are unable to provide the 24-hour care their parent needs; or they may be parents with young families who prefer not to cause anxiety for their children that may be precipitated by end of life care at home. Others choose this type of care because they simply prefer coping with a terminal illness in a more secure and structured surrounding.

The 10-bed facility is located in a beautifully restored and expanded antique colonial home on 320 Haverhill Street in Reading, MA. The space is thoughtfully designed with many amenities and conveniences.  Each of the ten private patient rooms includes a comfortable sitting area for families and friends. Seven of the bedrooms have private bathrooms and all include a television, phone and internet connection. Common areas include a family kitchen, a dining area, great room, library, and four-season sunroom.  The beautifully landscaped grounds offer two large gardens where patients and their visitors can sit and relax in peaceful surroundings. Visitors are welcome 24 hours a day and pets may visit.

Services Provided

An average length of stay for Hospice residential care is 20 to 35 days, however, a stay could be up to six months or as little as three days, depending on the individual and course of illness. Services provided at the Hospice House include:

  • Round the clock nursing care
  • Social workers to address emotions and family issues, grief and loss
  • Chaplains to provide spiritual or religious care
  • Physical and occupational therapists to provide pain relief and comfort measures
  • Therapeutic massage or Reiki upon individual request
  • Expressive therapists to work with children suffering with impending loss of a parent or grandparent or other loved one.
  • Volunteers to help with activities, and to offer friendship, companionship and support
  • Pet therapy, provided by Caring Canines Visiting Therapy Dogs, a volunteer organization that makes regular visits at the House to patients who enjoy interacting with pets.


Medicare, Medicaid, managed care plans and insurances cover the care, medications, and medical equipment provided at the Hospice House. Patients pay privately for room and board and a sliding fee scale is available. However, increasingly more insurances are paying for room and board costs.

The Hospice House is open to all individuals facing terminal illness, regardless of ability to pay. No one will be denied admittance based on financial need.

For more information on costs, click here.

Contact Information

For more information about the Sawtelle Family Hospice House or to arrange a tour, contact David Agahigian, Hospice House Administrator at 781-439-6123 or

Your Home to Our Home Program

When a bed is not immediately available at the Hospice House, this program offers enhanced home hospice services to appropriate patients while they wait for an opening. Patients and families receive a liaison visit to explain the specifics of the program as well as to assess their current medical condition and care needs.

Bereavement Care

Support through the grieving process is also an important component of hospice care. After the death of a loved one, we stay in contact with the family for 13 months and offer adult bereavement support groups and a children’s bereavement program.

Learn more about our bereavement programs »


Volunteers play an important role at our Hospice House. They help prepare meals, shop for food, tend the gardens, and help with personal care of patients. Most important they are there for patients and families by being sensitive listeners and thoughtful companions.

Learn more about our volunteer program »

Charitable Support

The Hospice House is a nonprofit, community based organization that depends on charitable contributions of individuals, businesses, corporations and foundations. There are many ways you can lend your support.

Learn more about charitable giving »

Sawtelle Family Hospice House Photo Gallery