Hospice care is often seen as a last-resort option—one to use when the patient no longer can benefit from traditional medical care. The fact is that approximately twice as many older Americans end their lives in hospital care now than they did ten years ago—but hospice care is still seen as a last resort. If it was brought in sooner, it could do patients more good.
Hospice care is generally designed to help patients who know they are dying control their pain, stay comfortable, and get their social, emotional, and spiritual needs met in a supportive environment.
However, studies show that more and more, hospice care is being
used as the option of last resort for patients who receive very
aggressive hospital care during their final days—care that may not
For many patients and families, hospice care may be a better option earlier in the care process—skipping the aggressive intensive care that often occurs at the end of life.
How to Know When It's Time to Arrange Hospice:
Choosing hospice is never easy. However, hospice care can make the difference between a stressful, negative end-of-life situation and one that is more comfortable. Consider asking your doctor about hospice care sooner—for yourself or for a loved one—and hopefully, you’ll be able to get the care you need.
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