Hospice Care

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To learn more

More information from your American Cancer Society

Here is more information you might find helpful. You also can order free copies of our documents from our toll-free number, 1-800-227-2345, or read them on our Web site, www.cancer.org.

More about dealing with terminal illness

Nearing the End of Life (also in Spanish)

Advanced Cancer (also in Spanish)

Advance Directives

Talking With Your Doctor (also in Spanish)

Pain Control: A Guide for Those With Cancer and Their Loved Ones (also in Spanish)

For caregivers and loved ones of the person with cancer

What it Takes to Be a Caregiver

What You Need to Know as a Cancer Caregiver

Caring for the Patient With Cancer at Home: A Guide for Patients and Families (also in Spanish)

Listen With Your Heart (also in Spanish)

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (also in Spanish)

Home Care Agencies (also in Spanish)

Talking with children and other loved ones about cancer

Talking With Friends and Relatives About Your Cancer (also in Spanish)

Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer: Dealing With a Parent’s Terminal Illness

Financial and insurance issues

Health Insurance and Financial Assistance for the Cancer Patient (also in Spanish)

Advanced Illness: Financial Guidance for Cancer Survivors and Their Families

Coping Financially With the Loss of a Loved One: Financial Guidance for Families


Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer: When a Child Has Lost a Parent

Coping With the Loss of a Loved One (also in Spanish)


The following books are available from the American Cancer Society. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit our bookstore online at cancer.org/bookstore to find out about costs or to place an order.

Cancer in the Family: Helping Children Cope With a Parent’s Illness

When the Focus Is On Care: Palliative Care and Cancer

American Cancer Society Complete Guide to Family Caregiving, Second Edition: The Essential Guide to Cancer Caregiving at Home

National organizations and Web sites*

Along with the American Cancer Society, other sources of information and support include:

End of life and hospice information

Compassion and Choices
Toll-free number: 1-800-247-7421
Web site: www.compassionandchoices.org

    For local referrals to pain specialists, hospice programs, and other resources; offers patients assistance in completing living wills and advance directives, and in talking to families, friends, and health care providers about health care wishes

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)
Toll-free number: 1-800-658-8898; in Spanish 1-877-658-8896
Web site: www.nhpco.org

    Provides information about hospice programs in your area; also publishes hospice information for consumers and has frequently asked questions on their Web site

Hospice Education Institute
Toll-free number: 1-800-331-1620
Web site: www.hospiceworld.org

    Offers information about caring for the dying and the bereaved; maintains a directory of hospice and palliative care programs in the United States; and provides general information about good hospice care

Hospice Foundation of America (HFA)
Toll-free number: 1-800-854-3402
Web site: www.hospicefoundation.org

    Acts as an advocate for hospice care by offering public education and information; lists hospices by geographical area online at www.hospicedirectory.org

Hospice Net
Web site: www.hospicenet.org

    Provides information and support to patients facing life-threatening illnesses and to their families and friends; also can help find a local hospice

National Association for Home Care and Hospice Care (NAHC)
Web site: www.nahc.org

    Provides a database of phone numbers for home care, including Visiting Nurse Associations and hospice agencies (choose “consumer” tab for agency locator); also offers information on how to choose a home care agency or a hospice

For caregivers

Family and Medical Leave Act information from the US Department of Labor
Toll-free number: 1-866-487-9243
TTY: 1-877-889-5627
Web site: www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/index.htm

    Has information on the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), which helps people keep jobs and health insurance while taking time off to care for themselves or loved ones

Family Caregiver Alliance
Toll-free number: 1-800-445-8106
Web site: www.caregiver.org

    Provides information and resources on long-term caregiving; searchable resource feature on their Web site provides information on publicly-funded and private caregiver support programs in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia; also offers telecaregiving and other Web learning programs for caregivers

National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA)
Toll-free number: 1-800-896-3650
Web site: www.thefamilycaregiver.org

    Quarterly newsletter offers can-do advice, helpful resources and stories about family caregivers, and a bereavement kit for when members are no longer caregivers to help them deal with their loss and move on with their lives

Finances and insurance coverage

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Toll-free number: 1-877-267-4227
TTY: 1-877-486-2048
Web site: www.cms.gov (or for just Medicare info: www.medicare.gov)

    Answers questions about how to apply for Medicare, Medicaid, disability, or survivor benefits, and also answers questions about coverage for all Medicare recipients

Medicare Rights Center (MRC)
Toll-free number: 1-800-333-4114
Web site: www.medicarerights.org

Basic information and explanations of Medicare rights and benefits

Social Security Administration (SSA)
Toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213
TTY: 1-800-325-0778
Web site: www.socialsecurity.gov

    Has general information, qualification criteria, and information about how to apply for program benefits (such as Social Security Disability Income and Supplemental Security Income if you cannot work). Makes referrals to local SSA and Medicare/Medicaid offices

Other resources for those exploring hospice care

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a)
Toll-free number: 1-800-677-1116
Web site: www.n4a.org

    To find agencies with local resources for older people with cancer and their caregivers, see their online Eldercare Locator

Joint Commission
Toll-free number: 1-800-994-6610 (to file a complaint about an accredited organization or program)
Web site: www.jointcommission.org

    Provides information on accredited hospice agencies, including a “quality check” directory of hospices

Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA)
Web site: www.vnaa.org

    Web site can link you to one of their member Visiting Nurse Association office in your area. Local VNAs offer services including skilled nursing and mental health care, hospice care, and home health care

Toll-free number: 1-888-687-2277
Web site: www.aarp.org

    Provides information on health care treatment, insurance benefits, and grief and loss; also offers a special subsite on caregiving at www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving

*Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by the American Cancer Society.

No matter who you are, we can help. Contact us anytime, day or night, for cancer-related information and support. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

Last Medical Review: 04/30/2013
Last Revised: 04/30/2013