Hospice is a special kind of care focused on providing patients with a terminal illness comfort and dignity as their disease takes its course. Because hospice means that treatment will no longer be focused on curing the disease, many families feel that they are giving up on their loved one. While it may be easy to think that, understanding what hospice provides in the context of the patient, their family, and the overall disease progression can provide a new perspective on choosing hospice.
Things to consider about hospice:
A doctor will only place an order for hospice care when they believe curative programs have done all they can. In some cases providing curative treatments to terminal patients can bring added stress and discomfort while hospice will ensure a more comfortable path to the disease’s eventual conclusion.
In some cases, the reduction of stress and strain can actually give patients more time.*
Hospice provides extra help and resources to the family, allowing them to better use the time they have with their loved one and reduce some financial burdens of care.
Many special hospice programs are focused on dignity in death, meaning that the last memories of a loved one can be much happier.
There are many positive reasons for accepting a suggestion of hospice care. To hear a doctor discuss why choosing hospice does not mean giving up, visit this page.
* A 2007 study that looked at Medicare beneficiaries with some of the most common diagnoses leading to death, found that patients who received hospice services lived on average, 29 days longer than those who did not receive hospice care. This study, published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (March 2007) looked at 4,493 terminally ill patients with either congestive heart failure or cancer of the breast, colon, lung, pancreas, or prostate.