Hospice

Is a special kind of care for terminally-ill people, their families and their caregivers that:

  • Treats the physical needs of the patient, and their emotional and spiritual needs.
  • Takes place in the patient's home, or in a home-like setting.
  • Concentrates on making the patient as free of pain and as comfortable as they want to be so they can make the most of the time that remains to them.
  • Considers helping family members an essential part of its mission.
  • Believes the quality of life to be as important as the length of life.

More than a million patients and their families have utilized the services of hospice (pronounced "HOS-pis"). Some 60 percent of all hospice patients have cancer, and many of the rest have either heart disease or AIDS. However, regardless of a patient's conditions-or age- hospices open their doors and their hearts to all terminally ill persons. Many surviving family members say, "I do not know what I would have done without hospice." And many credit it with helping to make their final days with their loved ones warm and memorable.