Patients Live Longer
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 was published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (March 2007). “With earlier referral to a hospice program, patients may receive care that results in better management of symptoms, leading to stabilization of their condition and prolonged survival."
Better Quality of Life
It’s no secret that life limiting illnesses and their treatments can cause unpleasant symptoms and side effects in many patients, which can seriously affect their quality of life. Controlling these is a prime concern for anyone facing a life limiting illness and for the people helping take care of them. Hospice care can address such problems as pain, nausea, poor appetite, weight loss, breathing problems, and even emotional concerns like depression and anxiety.
More Support To Patient & Family
Hospice care is provided by a full team of professionals and volunteers.The hospice team consists of many professionals including: nurses, hospice aides, social workers, therapists, chaplains, bereavement coordinators, a hospice medical director, as well as specially-trained volunteers. This professional team works together to support individuals and their families during their last months of life. The team works closely with the patient, their family, and the patient’s personal physician to develop an individualized plan of care that helps the patient meet their goals for living the last months of their life in the best way possible.
Hospice is for families as well as patients. A vital component of hospice care is the support and education given to the families and caregivers who are caring for the person who is living with the terminal illness. The staff work closely with all members of the patient’s circle, helping them understand what is happening, what they can expect moving forward, and empowering them to provide the care when the team is not present.
Hospice is available 24 hours per day/7 days per week. In the middle of the night or weekend, patients and families may call to talk with a hospice team member. If needed, the hospice staff member will visit the patient at their residence.
Grief support is provided to surviving family members for at least 13 months.The bereavement staff of the hospice team support the family members after the death of their loved one for at least 13 months, helping the family through all those painful firsts – the first Thanksgiving, first holidays, first birthday, and first anniversary of the death. Through mailings, phone calls, and optional support groups and individual meetings, those who are grieving can access support along this road of transition.
Help Eliminate Fear
People may feel afraid to die, but it may help to pinpoint what part of death they are afraid of. Are they afraid of dying alone? Are they afraid of suffering or pain? Are they afraid that they will die and there will be nothing beyond earthly life? Is there a fear that their lives had no purpose or meaning? These are some of the more common reasons that people fear death. Hospice social workers and chaplains focus their efforts on finding the root cause for a patient or family members fear and anxiety. The ultimate goal for hospice is to heal the fear and anxiety that patients and or family members have at the end of life.