National Resources

There are a vast array of national organizations that can provide important information and resources about end-of-life issues. To help simplify your search for knowledge, we've developed a list of some of the most widely-used organizations that may be able to help you in the decision-making process.

Aging with Dignity

Aging with Dignity is a national non-profit organization with a mission to affirm and safeguard the human dignity of individuals as they age and to promote better care for those near the end of life.  The organization is the home to Five Wishes, which has become a popular living will because it is written in everyday language and helps start and structure important conversations about care in times of serious illness.

American Bar Association

The American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional association in the world. With more than 400,000 members, the ABA provides law school accreditation, continuing legal education, information about the law, programs to assist lawyers and judges in their work, and initiatives to improve the legal system for the public.

The ABA can serve as a resource for information on estate planning and other legal issues dealing with end-of-life.

Caring Connections

Caring Connections, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), is a national consumer and community engagement initiative to improve care at the end of life, supported by a grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Compassionate Friends, Inc.

Whether your family has had a child die (at any age from any cause) or you are trying to help those who have gone through this life altering experience, The Compassionate Friends exists to provide friendship, understanding and hope to those going through the natural grieving process. Through a network of more than 625 chapters with locations in all 50 states, as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico, The Compassionate Friends has been supporting bereaved families after the death of a child for four decades. The mission of The Compassionate Friends is to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child at any age and to provide information to help others be supportive.

Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life

The institute was created to address and draw attention to the complexities of social, cultural, moral, theological, public policy, medical and economic issues involved in living and dying. Its mission is to promote the growth of knowledge and rediscover old wisdoms concerning care for the dying, synthesizing both to better care for the whole person at life's end.

Elder Law Answers

The combination of an informed consumer and a qualified attorney produces the best legal results for the clients. ElderLawAnswers supports seniors, their families and their attorneys in achieving their goals by providing the best information on the Internet about crucial legal issues facing seniors; a network of highly qualified elder law attorneys nationwide and online practice tools for elder law attorneys.

Family Caregivers Alliance

Family Caregivers Alliance is a public voice for caregivers. Pioneering programs—information, education, services, research and advocacy—support and sustain the important work of families nationwide caring for loved ones with chronic, disabling health conditions.

Hospice Foundation of America

Hospice Foundation of America provides leadership in the development and application of hospice and its philosophy of care with the goal of enhancing the U.S. healthcare system and the role of hospice within it. The Foundation conducts programs of professional development, public education and information, research, publications and health policy issues. Its programs for healthcare professionals assist those who cope either personally or professionally with terminal illness, death and the process of grief, and are offered on a national or regional basis. Its programs for the public assist individual consumers of health care who are coping with issues of caregiving, terminal illness and grief.


Medicare is health insurance for people 65 and older; people under 65 with certain disabilities; and people of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease. The different parts of Medicare cover hospital insurance, medical insurance and prescription drug coverage. The Medicare Web site provides users with detailed descriptions of their benefits, the latest news and developments regarding coverage and information about providers and healthcare facilities.

National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is the largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States. The organization is committed to improving end-of-life care and expanding access to hospice care with the goal of profoundly enhancing quality of life for people dying in America and their loved ones.With headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization advocates for the terminally ill and their families. It also develops public and professional educational programs and materials to enhance understanding and availability of hospice and palliative care; convenes frequent meetings and symposia on emerging issues; provides technical informational resources to its membership; conducts research; monitors Congressional and regulatory activities; and works closely with other organizations that share an interest in end-of-life care.

Take Charge of Your Life Partnership

The Take Charge of Your Life Partnership is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating, supporting and empowering all people to deal with end-of-life issues through an innovative network of consumers, professionals, community organizations and corporations.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)

TAPS is a national nonprofit organization that provides comfort and support to all who are grieving the loss of a loved one in the military service. Founded out of tragedy in 1994, TAPS has established itself as the frontline resource to the families and loved ones of our military men and women.  TAPS provides comfort and care through comprehensive services and programs including peer based emotional support, case work assistance, crisis intervention and grief and trauma resources.

University of Pittsburgh Institute to Enhance Palliative Care

In June 2003, the schools of the health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, in collaboration with Family Hospice and Palliative Care, established the Institute to Enhance Palliative Care. The institute invited scholars and health professionals from diverse fields to join together to improve care for people who are seriously ill and dying in western Pennsylvania. The mission of the Institute is to improve the access to and quality of palliative care in western Pennsylvania by (1) educating health care providers regarding palliative care, (2) conducting research into the most effective ways to provide palliative care, (3) raising public awareness about the availability of palliative care, and (4) advancing public policies that support excellent, high-quality care for people who are seriously ill.