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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Monday, January 23, 2017

When Do You Start Thinking About Hospice?

A recent study done by researchers at the Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston came up with some interesting but not very surprising results. Families are more satisfied with end-of-life care and treatment when it includes hospice.

The good news for those dealing with older loved ones with end-of-life-care issues is that we are blessed to have excellent hospice care in our community.

Nearly 2,000 family members who had loved ones pass away from cancer-related illness participated in the research survey. Half of them had family members who received hospice care.

Those receiving hospice care experienced greater symptom relief, achievement of pain-management goals and better quality of end-of-life care, according to the study findings.

Families who had loved ones receive 30 days or more of hospice care said they experienced the highest quality of life outcomes.

While hospice care does not preclude disease treatment, it focuses more on an alternative approach based on comfort. That care can be provided at home, in a nursing home or hospital or in a hospice-care facility.

Results of the Boston study showed that there was overall more satisfaction with the care received by patients in the hospice group compared to those not receiving hospice care.

Often, the problem with introducing hospice or palliative care is a mindset that families have about not wanting to consider they are approaching a new stage in care for their loved one. But if your loved one is experiencing increasing pain and discomfort for any health issues, it may be time for a discussion with your doctor about introducing hospice or palliative care.


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