This patient summary from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on loss, grief, and bereavement is adapted from the summary written for health professionals by cancer experts. The passage from the final stage of cancer to the death of a loved one is different for everyone. This summary describes loss, grief, and bereavement; the stages of grief; and methods for coping with grief. This summary also includes sections on children and grief. People cope with the loss of a loved one in many ways. For some, the experience may lead to personal growth, even though it is a difficult and trying time. There is no right way of coping with death. The way a person grieves depends on the personality of that person and the relationship with the person who has died.
Hospice is a concept of care that involves health professionals and volunteers who provide medical, psychological, and spiritual support to terminally ill patients and their loved ones. Hospice stresses quality of life—peace, comfort, and dignity. A principal aim of hospice is to control pain and other symptoms so the patient can remain as alert and comfortable as possible. Hospice services are available to persons who can no longer benefit from curative treatment; the typical hospice patient has a life expectancy of 6 months or less. Hospice programs provide services in various settings: the home, hospice centers, hospitals, or skilled nursing facilities. Patients’ families are also an important focus of hospice care, and services are designed to provide them with the assistance and support they need. Download this NCI Fact Sheet.
Hospice Buffalo provides services that enhance the comfort and quality of life for those experiencing the impact of serious illness and loss. The mission of Hospice Buffalo is to provide exceptional care and life enhancing services for seriously ill patients and those who share their lives. The Center for Hospice & Palliative Care is the parent organization of Hospice Buffalo, Home Care Buffalo, Life Transitions Center, Caring Hearts Home Care and the Hospice Foundation of WNY. More links to Hospice services in Western New York are here.