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Hospice Care

Hospice care provides medical services, emotional support, and spiritual resources for people who are in the late stages of an incurable illness, such as cancer or Alzheimer's disease. Hospice care also helps family members manage the practical details and emotional challenges of caring for a dying loved one.

Hospice services are provided by a team of caregivers that may include health professionals, volunteers, and spiritual advisors. Services typically include:

  • Basic medical care with a focus on pain and symptom control.
  • Access to a member of the hospice team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Medical supplies and equipment, as needed.
  • Counseling and social support. These services are available, as needed, for both the person in hospice care and for anyone in his or her family.
  • Guidance with the difficult, but normal, issues of life completion and closure.
  • A break (respite care) for caregivers, family, and others who regularly care for the person.
  • Volunteer support, such as preparing meals or running errands.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Shelly R. Garone, MD, FACP - Palliative Medicine
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.