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Hospice Care Resources

We want to make sure you have the resources you need to make the right decision on hospice care and to help prepare you for the hospice journey. Here are some helpful links you may find useful:

What is hospice?

What is palliative care?

Who pays for hospice?

What is the history of hospice?

Hospice Terms

Advance Directive

An advance directive tells your doctors and your family what you want for your end-of-life care. Advance directives sometimes take the form of two particular legal documents—a living will or a medical power of attorney. A living will explains what treatments or medical care you want to receive if you are dying or unconscious. A medical power of attorney allows you to name a health care proxy who will make health decisions for you if you are unable.

Animal Therapy

Animal therapy, also known as pet therapy, brings animals to patients to help with social, emotional, or cognitive functioning. This type of therapy is exceptionally good at reducing anxiety, reducing depression, and increasing activity.

Art Therapy

Art therapy can help reduce stress and pain while giving patients a creative outlet.


Bereavement is the state of sorrow when grieving for the death of a loved one.


When dealing with end-of-life issues, capacity often refers to the patient’s mental capacity. For example, do they comprehend the care they are receiving and any choices that may be available to them?


A caregiver can be anyone within the support group helping a patient during their illness. Caregivers can include family, friends, and hospice employees.

Curative Care

Curative care is care aimed at curing an illness, such as radiation, chemotherapy, and antibiotics.


Depression is a mood disorder that is often accompanied by feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, inadequacy, or worthlessness. A depressed patient may suffer from persistent sadness or anxiety.

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order

A DNR is a legal document instructing healthcare providers not to provide CPR in case of cardiac or respiratory arrest.

Healthcare Agent

A healthcare agent is a person who is either named in an Advance Directive or permitted under state law to make medical decisions for a patient who can no longer make competent medical decisions.


Hospice provides palliative care aimed at relieving pain and providing comfort for patients facing a terminal illness.

Hospice care providers

Hospice care providers offer palliative care aimed at helping patients in the final phases of a terminal illness. Providers focus on pain management, comfort, and quality of life, rather than curative care. With a team including nurses, doctors, and social workers, hospice providers work to offer patients the possibility of living the rest of their lives to the fullest.

Living Will

A living will is a type of advance directive that details the patient’s treatment desires if they are dying or unconscious.

Medical Power of Attorney

A medical power of attorney is a type of advance directive that appoints one person as the patient’s proxy. This allows the proxy to make medical decisions for the patient if the patient is no longer able to make decisions for themselves.

Music therapy

Music therapy can help with cognitive functioning and motor skills, as well as emotional and social challenges. This type of therapy can lower stress levels, help with depression, and lessen pain. Music therapy can sometimes help Alzheimer’s patients focus and become more responsive.

Palliative Care

Palliative care is aimed at giving the patient the best chance to live life to the fullest by relieving as much pain, suffering, and discomfort as possible. This type of care is not aimed at curing a patient. Instead, palliative care is aimed at making a patient as comfortable as possible.

Respite Care

Respite care allows primary caregivers to take a little time off from their responsibilities. The patient may be institutionalized for a set period of time, or arrangements may be made to provide short-term care at home.

Quality of life

Quality of life refers to a patient’s ability to do what they love and live to the fullest. Some medical procedures can severely hamper quality of life, but palliative care is aimed at making quality of life the first and foremost goal. By focusing on relieving pain and suffering, hopefully the patient can do many of the things they love for as long as possible.

Do you or a loved one need hospice care? Search for a provider near you: