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Hospice Care For Terminally Ill

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

Is it necessary to send a family member to a hospice if they are terminally ill? How expensive is a hospice?


Dreading decision

Dear Dreading decision,

No, it is not necessary to send a terminally ill person to a hospice. Hospice care can be provided in the terminally ill person's home, home of a friend, relative, or at an inpatient care facility. Most hospice care takes place in the home.

Hospice care is an important end-of-life support service not only for the dying persons, but also for their families. Hospice focuses on relieving symptoms for terminally ill people in the final stages of an incurable illness such as terminal cancer or AIDS. Psychological and spiritual support is also provided for both the patient and family.

The cost of hospice care is often covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. To find out more call: 1-800-MEDICARE

For more information about hospice care and how to find a hospice in your area, see:

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization at

The National Association for Home Care and Hospice at