Hospice Care

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More information from your American Cancer Society

We have a lot more information that you might find helpful. Explore www.cancer.org or call our National Cancer Information Center toll-free number, 1-800-227-2345. We’re here to help you any time, day or night.


Your American Cancer Society also has books that you might find helpful. 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.

National organizations and websites*

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
Website: 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; Multilingual line 1-877-658-8896
Website: www.nhpco.org

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

Hospice Education Institute
Toll-free number: 1-800-331-1620
Website: 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
Website: 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

National Association for Home Care and Hospice Care (NAHC)
Website: 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

Children’s Hospice International (CHI)
Website: www.chionline.org

    Has an International Resource Directory which provides information on more than 1,500 programs around the world that care for children with life-threatening conditions and their families

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
Website: 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
Website: www.caregiver.org

    Provides information and resources on long-term caregiving; searchable resource feature on their website 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

Caregiver Action Network
Website: www.caregiveraction.org

    Has helpful resources and stories about family caregivers, an online forum to get encouragement and advice, and trained volunteers who can help you find resources in your community

Finances and insurance coverage

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Toll-free number: 1-877-267-4227
TTY: 1-877-486-2048
Website: 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
Website: 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
Website: 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
Website: www.n4a.org

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

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

    Provides information on accredited hospice agencies, including a “quality check” directory of hospices which gives information about the quality and safety of accredited organizations

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

    Website 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
Website: www.aarp.org

    Provides information on health care treatment, insurance benefits, and grief and loss; also offers information on caregiving at www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving or call 1-877-333-5885

*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: 04/08/2014
Last Revised: 04/08/2014