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The study discussed here examined the possible indirect benefits of hospice care for older adults whose terminally ill spouses received hospice care. Surviving spouses whose husband/wife received hospice care had lower mortality rates 18 months after the spouse's death compared to older adults whose spouse had not received hospice care. The impact was larger for bereaved wives and the effect was statistically significant. The results illustrate that hospice care benefits patients and their spouses thereby mediating the effects of caregiver burden and the widow/er effect.