Institute for End of Life Care Education


Hospice and palliative care are two terms associated with the care of persons with a terminal or life limiting illness.

Hospice is a model of care for persons with life-limiting illness. The primary focus of hospice is caring, not curing. The hospice philosophy affirms life and seeks to maximize present quality in living. All hospices consider the family as the unit of service and offer continuing care and support to bereaved survivors. Hospice care is available to patients regardless of age, religion, race or illness. Hospice care is covered under Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance. Care may be provided in the home, hospital, a freestanding hospice or long-term care facility.

"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."

— Emily Dickinson

Palliative care is focused on making a person comfortable by treating symptoms related to illness. The goal of palliative care is to improve the patient's quality of life. Palliative care may be given at any time during the illness. The patient may receive palliative care and curative care at the same time and does not need to have a life-limiting illness. Some medications and treatments may be covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. Palliative care may be provided in the home, hospital and long-term care facility.

Hospice resources

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
(800) 658-8898

It's the oldest and largest nonprofit public benefit organization that represents hospice and palliative care programs. NHPCO is committed to improving the end-of-life care and expanding access to hospice care. Helpful informational brochures are available, including a:

Caring Connections
(800) 658-8898

Information is available on a number of end-of-life issues, including hospice and palliative care information; advance-care planning; advance directives; and living wills, caregiving, pain, grief and financial planning.

The Hospice Organization and Palliative Experts of Wisconsin
(800) 210-0220

HOPE represents the licensed hospices in Wisconsin. Its mission is to provide education, legislative influence and partnership opportunities to all individuals and organizations in Wisconsin who influence the quality of end-of-life decisions and care to strengthen the provision of hospice and palliative care. The website includes information about hospice programs and advance directives and an alphabetical listing of hospices by city in Wisconsin and how to contact them.


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Through a transformational Catholic, Jesuit education, Marquette University College of Nursing prepares nurse leaders to promote health, healing and social justice for all people through clinical practice and development of nursing knowledge.