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Hospice Care

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

What is hospice care?

Hospice care focuses on making you comfortable during the last months of your life. Hospice care will be specific to your needs and the needs of those close to you. Care can be provided at home or in a hospital. It can also be provided in a hospice or long-term care facility.

Who provides hospice care?

Hospice care is provided by a team trained in support and education related to death and dying. The team includes doctors, nurses, and social workers. It may also include home health aides, clergy, therapists, and trained volunteers. The hospice doctor and your healthcare providers will work together to manage your care. They will also work to understand and respect your wishes and the wishes of your family. A team member will be available any time day or night to answer questions, help, or just to listen.

What do hospice care services include?

  • Treatment management helps ease your symptoms, such as pain. Pain may be relieved with medicine or with other methods, such as massage, music, or aromatherapy. Equipment, a bed, or other medical supplies may be provided to help care for you.
  • Emotional and psychological care is provided to help you and those close to you. Team members will meet with you and your family regularly about your condition. You and those close to you may also join support groups or meet others receiving hospice care.
  • Respite care gives your family or regular care providers short-term rest. During this time, you will be cared for in a hospice facility, hospital, or other care facility.
  • Practical support assists you and your family with concerns such as legal issues and funeral arrangements. Your social worker can help you find services that fit your needs and your family's needs.
  • Spiritual and cultural support helps you and your family evaluate religious values and cultural beliefs. This may make it easier to understand and accept your condition.
  • Loss support is provided to your family for about 1 year. The hospice care team will help your family through the process of grieving. Your loved ones will receive visits and phone calls, and may be referred to support groups.

Where can I find more information?

  • National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)
    1731 King Street, Suite 100
    Alexandria , VA 22314
    Phone: 1- 800 - 658-8898
    Web Address:
  • Caring Connections
    National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
    1731 King Street, Suite 100
    Alexandria , VA 22314
    Phone: 1- 800 - 658-8898
    Web Address:

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.