Are hospices only for people who are dying?


Quick Answer

Hospices are for patients who are expected to die in six months or less and their families. Most hospices offer grief services to their communities through churches, schools and workplaces.

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Full Answer

Hospices address the emotional, spiritual and social needs of the patient and the patient's family. Spiritual and bereavement counselors help the patient and the patient's family come to terms with dying, and hospice staff can teach family members to care for a dying person so that he can have a dignified death at home.

Hospices serve patients with a variety of diagnoses, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, emphysema and Alzheimer's disease. Although the majority of hospice patients are older, hospice services are available to patients of all ages.

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