Compassion and Choices
This non-profit organization aims to improve care and expand choice at the end of life by providing support, education, and advocacy. You can call and speak with a counselor to discuss fears and receive help on advance directives, local service referrals, and pain and symptom management. The site provides information on many end of life topics, including facing a terminal illness, planning for the future, advance directives/living wills, information for the LGBT community, living with chronic pain, and advocacy. The site also provides information on end of life books and articles.
The Conversation Project
This organization is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. You can download their “Conversation Starter Kit” for no charge to get the conversation started with your loved ones. Special tools are available for those caring for patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The kit is available in English, French, Hebrew, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
This site is provided by the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). Learn about palliative care – what it is, who provides it, what to expect, how to determine if it is right for you, how it differs from hospice and more. Search their provider directory to find a hospital with a palliative care center near you.
Hospice Compare – Medicare.gov
This U.S. government site provides information on over 3,900 hospices in the U.S. You can search by hospice name or geographic location. Find information on quality measures, such as the percentage of patients who were screened for pain or difficult or uncomfortable breathing, and whether patients’ preferences are being met. The site also provides helpful information about hospice care.
Hospice Foundation of America – Hospice Information Center
This non-profit organization provides end-of-life care resources to professionals, patients and their families. The site provides information on a wide range of end-of-life topics, including the benefits of hospice, how to find and pay for a hospice, advance care planning, pain management, tips on finding a support group, and understanding grief. A fact sheet is available in Spanish. Ask-an-Expert support is available by e-mail or phone (800-854-3402; Monday – Friday, 8 am – 6 pm Eastern Time).
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
800-658-8898 (English); 877-658-8896 (multi-lingual)
This organization of hospice and palliative care providers hosts a website for patients and caregivers (www.caringinfo.org) as well as their organization’s site (www.nhpco.org). The sites provide information on hospice, palliative care, advance care planning, caregiving, coping with pain, grief, financial planning and more. Call the HelpLine (phone numbers above – Monday – Friday: 9 am – 5 pm Eastern Time) or email a question. Find a provider in your area. Information is available on-line in Spanish.
Society of Critical Care Medicine
This non-profit organization’s site provides information on ICUs (Intensive Care Units) for caregivers of critically ill or injured patients. Find information and resources designed to help you understand the ICU environment. The site includes a glossary of terms and information on: common ICU problems, sepsis (body’s response to infection), decision making, palliative care, evaluating ICUs, safety tips, and other ICU related topics.
Therapy Dogs International
This volunteer organization is dedicated to bringing dogs to nursing homes, hospitals, hospices and private homes for therapeutic visits. The organization regulates, tests and registers therapeutic dogs and their volunteer handlers in all 50 US states and Canada. A great way to brighten up the day of a patient.