Skip to main content

Choosing a Quality Hospice in Your Area

  • Synopsis: Published: 2014-10-28 - Free worksheet from NHPCO, Choosing a Quality Hospice, will help patients and families with questions to consider when learning about or choosing a hospice. For further information pertaining to this article contact: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization at
A type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient's pain and symptoms, and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs. The modern concept of hospice includes palliative care for the incurably ill given in such institutions as hospitals or nursing homes, but also care provided to those who would rather spend their last months and days of life in their own homes. Since 2006 the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is organized by a committee of the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance, a network of hospice and palliative care national and regional organizations that support the development of hospice and palliative care worldwide. In 2014 the date is the 11th of October.

Main Document

Quote: "Hospices provide high-quality care specially tailored to your needs and valuable support to family caregivers."

When a loved one is diagnosed with a serious or life-limiting illness, the questions facing an individual or a family can be overwhelming. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization recommends that people learn more about hospice as an important option before they are faced with a medical crisis.

Hospice is not a place but a kind of care for people who have a life-limiting illness and are making the choice to focus on quality and comfort if more conventional treatments have become burdensome.

Hospices provide high-quality care specially tailored to your needs and valuable support to family caregivers.

With multiple hospices serving some communities, it can seem challenging to select one. NHPCO suggests the best way to begin is by reaching out to the hospice providers in your community to find the one best equipped to meet your specific needs.

"Choosing a hospice to care for yourself or a loved one in the final months or even days of life is an important and stressful process," said J. Donald Schumacher NHPCO president and CEO. "Each hospice offers unique services and partners with specific community providers - so it's important to contact the hospices in your area and ask them questions to find the one with the services and support that are right for you."

Your physician, other healthcare providers or family friends that has taken advantage of hospice services in the past is another way to get a recommendation for a provider in your area.

Some of the questions important in choosing a quality hospice include:

  • Is the hospice Medicare certified
  • What services do volunteers offer
  • How are services provided after hours
  • What services should I expect from the hospice
  • Is the hospice accredited by a national organization
  • When was the last state or federal survey of the program
  • How and where does hospice provide short-term inpatient care
  • How long does it typically take the hospice to enroll someone once the request for services is made

Another question that is often asked is when to begin hospice care.

Every patient and family must decide that based upon their unique needs; however, professionals encourage people to learn about care options long before they think they may need them. NHPCO encourages you to have that conversation with your healthcare practitioner and hospice providers in your area.

Download the free Choosing a Quality Hospice worksheet from NHPCO's Moments of Life website at:

Visit the Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice to learn more about all that hospice can do and to search for a hospice provider in your area -

Related Information:

  1. Hospice Care Increasing for Nursing Home Patients with Dementia - Brown University - (2010-12-15)
  2. Hospice Benefits for Terminally Ill Children - National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization - (2010-09-13)
  3. End of Life Palliative Care

Information from our Rehabilitation & Hospitals: Health & Disability Information section - (Full List).


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.

Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.

List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.

Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be. Also see information on blood group types and compatibility.

  1. New Details on Aged Brain, Alzheimer's and Dementia Revealed
  2. FDA Issues Guidance on Generic Abuse-Deterrent Opioid Development
  3. Getting a Job with a Disability - Infographic with Transcript
  4. New Sports and Disciplines for Paris 2024 Paralympics