Hospice Patients and Staff

Here are a few basic facts about Hospice patients and the people who care for them.

  • Hospice patients typically are in their last six months of life.
  • Approximately 2/3 of hospice patients are over the age of 65.
  • While many hospice patients are diagnosed with cancer, hospice services are also available to patients with pulmonary disease, heart disease, neurological disorders, Alzheimer's Disease, and AIDS.
  • Patients and families who choose hospice are the core of the hospice team and are at the center of all decision making.
  • A multi-disciplinary team supports the patient and the family. This team consists of physicians, nurses, aides, social workers, spiritual caregivers, counselors, therapists and volunteers.
  • A primary caregiver may be a life partner, relative, or friend. They are trained to work closely with staff to help with feeding, bathing, turning, administering medications, and monitoring changes in a patient's condition.
  • Hospice staff is specially trained to provide medical assistance and to deal with the loneliness and fears experienced by both the patient and his or her loved ones.
  • The hospice team works with the patient and his or her family to develop a personalized care plan. Hospice staff respect patient wishes and help foster communication amongst family members.
  • Hospice staff is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Hospice staff offers bereavement services to families after their loved one has died.
  • Trained volunteers are an integral part of hospice service. Over 400,000 people volunteer for hospice annually. Volunteers provide over 5 million hours of care and service annually.