What is hospice Palliative Care?

As a specialized form of healthcare, hospice palliative care aims to relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for those living with a life-limiting illness, as well as their families. Hospice palliative care addresses the specific physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and practical issues, and their associated expectations, needs, hopes, and fears on an individual basis.

Where do people receive hospice palliative care?

Palliative care is offered in a variety of places; at home, in hospitals, in long term care facilities, and occasionally in hospices. Individuals and their families need to know about the choices they have.

Who provides hospice palliative care?

Hospice palliative care is delivered by a multidisciplinary team of experts, such as social workers, counselors, nurses and volunteers, who are trained to respond to the needs of people with serious illness.

How is hospice palliative care paid for?

Hospice palliative care at home may be paid for by the provincial health plan as part of a home care program. These plans do not always include the cost of equipment used at home. Some plans allow only a certain number of paid hours of professional and home support services per week. After the hours are used up, people need to look for other ways to pay for these services,

Hospice Palliative care provided in a hospital is paid for by provincial health plans. These plans usually cover most care including drugs, medical supplies, and equipment while the person is in the hospital. In long-term care facilities, residents are usually required to pay for some of their care. Costs vary among facilities.

There is usually no charge for hospice residents as they are partially covered by provincial health plans and the rest is raised through donations and community support.


Bereavement support is often provided as part of hospice palliative care services offered in hospitals or by non-profit or volunteer organizations in the community.

Who benefits from hospice care?

Individuals and families living with life-limiting illnesses benefit from palliative care. Many people who receive palliative care have cancer. Palliative care also helps those living with other diseases such as advanced heart, respiratory and kidney disease, Alzheimer's disease, AIDS, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis...etc.

What is bereavement support?

Hospice palliative care services provide support for family members to work through their own emotions and grief regarding the death of a loved one. Bereavement support may begin when the grieving process starts. This may be before the death of the family member. Bereavement support is an important part of palliative care for people who may have faced many losses over a short period of time.