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About Hospice Care

If you or someone close to you has been referred to hospice or palliative care, you may have questions which this section of our website aims to address.

These pages may also be of interest if you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, you are wondering what services may be available to you in the future and how to access them.  

Typical concerns include: 

  •  What is hospice care?
  • Is it the same as palliative care?
  • At what point is someone referred to hospice/palliative care, and why?
  • Who receives hospice care? Is it available to everyone?
  • Who pays for hospice care? Is it expensive?
  • How can I get my relative or friend into a hospice? Can the Irish Hospice Foundation help?
  • What if there is no hospice in my area?  Can I get into a hospice in another part of the country?
  • We would like to keep my relative at home for as long as possible, but it is becoming very difficult, what help is available?
Browse the site to find out more. 

More From This Section:

Hospice, Palliative and End-of-life Care

What is hospice care? Hospice care aims to improve the lives of people whose illness is no longer curable, helping them to live as fully as possible to the end, however long that may be. It seeks to relieve the physical symptoms of illness while equally addressing the patient’s emotional and spiritual needs. Hospice care also [...] Read more >

FAQs about Hospice Care

 At what point in an illness is someone referred to hospice care, and why? When someone is referred to hospice/palliative care, it generally means that it is no longer expected that their illness can be cured.  This does not necessarily mean, however, that death is imminent.  Since hospice/palliative care professionals are experts in the management [...] Read more >

Hospice Services in Ireland

While at least two Irish hospices have been in existence for over a hundred years, hospice care as we know it today has really only developed since the 1960s. Dame Cicely Saunders, who founded St Christopher’s Hospice in London in 1967, is generally seen as the pioneer of the modern hospice movement. The influence of [...] Read more >


There is a lack of universal agreement around the terms used today to describe illness from which people are unlikely to recover; the type of care these people may receive; and the final phases of life. In alphabetical order, here are some key terms and phrases you will encounter in this website, defined as we [...] Read more >

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