Bereavement Support

Grief is a normal response to loss. It is the internal thoughts and feelings a person experiences within themselves when a loss occurs. Mourning is the outward expression of grief. People mourn in a variety of ways depending on numerous factors such as their family origin, ethnic/cultural background, and their unique personality just to name a few. Hospice Bereavement services are designed to help the family and other identified individuals cope with death related grief and loss issues. It is one of the benefits provided by the Medicare Hospice Benefit. This service helps assess grief, assist the patient in his/her grief as well as offer ongoing support to survivors. Each hospice has an organized program for the provision of bereavement services. These services are furnished under the supervision of a qualified professional with experience or education in grief or loss counseling.

Bereavement services are made available to the family and other individuals in the bereavement plan of care for up to 1 year following the death of the patient. Many hospice agencies choose to offer bereavement services for a period of 13 months. This is done in an effort to provide support through the first anniversary of the patient’s death.

Bereavement services provide on-going support staff and may include such things as educational materials, visits, phone calls, bereavement support groups, grief camps for kids and referral services.

To locate a bereavement program in your area, go to the Find Help tab above and chose “Bereavement Supportfrom the list of options and enter your zip code. You can contact them directly and ask to speak to the bereavement coordinator for that agency. You can also call 1-888-546-1500 and we’ll be happy to put you in touch with a hospice nearest you.


Understanding Grief (The Many Facets of Bereavement) Marilyn A Mendoza, Ph.D.