Nearing the End of Life

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More information from your American Cancer Society

We have a lot more information that you might find helpful. Explore 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 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:

Compassion and Choices
Toll-free number: 1-800-247-7421

    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

Toll-free number: 1-800-813-4673

    Provides free professional support groups and individual counseling services by phone and online to people with cancer, caregivers, loved ones, and the bereaved.

Family and Medical Leave Act (US Department of Labor)
Toll-free number: 1-866-487-9243
TTY: 1-877-889-5627

    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

    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

National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA)
Toll-free number: 1-800-896-3650

    Website and quarterly newsletter offer 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

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)
Toll-free number: 1-800-658-8898; in Spanish 1-877-658-8896

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

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

    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

    Acts as an advocate for hospice care by conducting public education and information; lists hospices by geographical area, which is available at

Hospice Net

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

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) -- HHS
Toll-free number: 1-800-633-4227
TTY: 1-877-486-2048
Website: (or for just Medicare info:

    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:

Fact sheets and 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

    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

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a)
Toll-free number: 1-800-677-1116

    To find agencies with local support services for older people with cancer, see their online Eldercare Locator

American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI)
Telephone number: 202-624-2000

    Offers information on financial security, with links to state government life insurance departments. Also online, “Living Benefits from Life Insurance,” describes how policy owners with a terminal illness can accelerate their life insurance benefits.

*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 information and support. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit

Last Medical Review: 01/14/2014
Last Revised: 02/06/2014