Hospice is a team approach to care for the dying that supplements family and other care.
Most services are provided in the home, but patients can also be seen in inpatient hospices, nursing homes, and hospitals.
Using palliative care, hospice focuses on easing symptoms, rather than curing a disease. Studies show that patients receiving this type of care often live longer than those getting aggressive cancer treatment.
According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, almost 42 percent of the 2,450,000 Americans who died in 2009 were enrolled in hospice when they died. Forty percent of those died at home. In 2009, 1.6 million people were in hospice, up 7.6 percent from 2008.