Documents in which you give instructions about your health care, what you want done or not done, if you can’t speak for yourself. A living will, medical power of attorney and pre-hospital medical care directive are forms of advance directives.


Grieving a death. Art of Hospice Care offers grief support groups, individual counseling and a quarterly newsletter to the bereaved for 13 months following a death.


Family members, friends or paid staff members who provide care to a person who is ill.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) consists primarily of two related diseases – bronchitis and emphysema. In both diseases, there is chronic obstruction of air flow through the airways and out of the lungs, and the obstruction generally is permanent and worsens over time. People often feel short of breath, especially with activity. Smoking is often the cause of COPD.


A general term for diseases that result in impairment of language, memory, personality, behavior and judgment. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Others include Lewy Body dementia and vascular dementia.

Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Order

A DNR is written by a doctor instructing other healthcare providers in health care institutions not to try to revive a patient whose heart stops beating or who stops breathing. The order typically is written after a discussion with the patient and/or family.

End-of-Life or Hospice Care

A team of health care professionals working together to meet the medical, emotional and spiritual needs of patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families. The focus is on comfort, not curative treatment. Most patients are cared for in their own homes.

Home Health

An insurance benefit that covers skilled care for seriously ill, home bound patients who may later choose hospice services. A physician order is required for patients who need intermittent skilled services in their home. Services may include catheter or feeding tube care, wound care, intravenous fluids or antibiotics.

Hospice Team

Consists of the patient and family, physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, nurses’ aides and volunteers. Other participants may bereavement counselors.

Integrative Therapies

Soothe the spirit with massage, music, art and aromatherapy.


An organization that channels any funds remaining after paying operating expenses back into programs and services rather than sharing profits with owners, shareholders and executives.

Palliative Care

Also known as comfort care, supportive care and symptom management. The goal of palliative care is to prevent or treat as early as possible the symptoms of the disease, side effects caused by treatment of the disease, and psychological, social and spiritual problems related to the disease or its treatment.

Palliative Care Unit or Inpatient Hospice Home

For patients who need round-the-clock nursing care or a place to go while their family caregiver is taking a break.

Patient Advocates

Staff members who review the on-going satisfaction of patients receiving services.

Pre-Hospital Medical Care Directive

This directs paramedics not to attempt resuscitation measures in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest. The directive is only in effect when the individual is not in a hospital. The form must be signed by the individual, witnessed, and signed by a licensed health care professional.

Respite Care

Provides a rest for family members or other people caring for the patient at home. Medicare allows the patient to go to an inpatient hospice home for up to five days, with no limit on how often.