What is Hospice?

A special kind of care for dying people, their families and their caregivers that:

  • treats the physical needs of patients and their emotional and spiritual needs,
  • takes place in the patient's home, or in a home-like setting,
  • concentrates on making patients 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") .

Hospice patients are living with a wide range of diagnoses including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's and lung disease. However, regardless of a patient's condition-or age-hospices open their doors and their hearts to all persons diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses.

Many surviving family members say, "I do not know what I would have done without hospice." Many credit it with helping to make their final days with their loved ones warm and memorable.