Hospice is often prescribed with reluctance. Some may see it as a sign the fight for life is over. But LB Hospice has a different focus and provides a more whole outlook.
“At some point, patients and their families and doctors realize that hospice is appropriate, but that happens perhaps later than it should.” Thomas Michael Gill is the Humana Foundation professor of geriatric medicine at Yale University. He recently published a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. He has a strong opinion about using hospice as a medical treatment rather than simply employing hospice when the battle for life is over.
In Gill’s study of over 750 people during a 16 year span he found that more than 40% of his research group employed hospice in the final year of their life on earth. Of the 40%, the median time spent utilizing hospice services was less than two weeks. “It’s challenging to have honest discussions with patients and families about death and the dying process, but leaving the conversation until the very end makes it more difficult.”
“It’s challenging to have honest discussions with patients and families about death and the dying process, but leaving the conversation until the very end makes it more difficult.”
LB Homes’ Bereavement Coordinator, Terry Beck, notes that the care hospice provides is more than simply helping a loved one with their final moments on earth. “When you experience an extremely stressful situation, such as the news of a terminal illness or the loss of a loved one, your entire person is impacted,” Beck notes. Where the concern is often on the ill individual, hospice care offers great supports that embrace the entire family.“Others have taken the journey before you. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength and courage.”
There may be some who look to hospice as a pain-filled experience, where the obstacles of sustaining life bring unbearable pain. However, health crises like emergency room visits and hospitalizations can be more painful and bring a unique level of stress to families as they care for loved ones.
More and more research is coming out about the impact of hospice in health management and treatment of illness. What some don’t realize is hospice is not a one-size-fits-all solution in the medical community. Because hospice care provides routine if not continual monitoring of patients, there are more comprehensive answers to some of the health challenges an individual is facing. Rather than visiting an emergency room or hospital because someone is in pain, hospice care helps understand in greater detail what is causing pain and how to manage it. This often includes opening other mainstream medical options for patients, rather than what some might see as pain management to the point of death.
“Others have taken the journey before you. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength and courage.”
Some hospice patients employ hospice and grow more healthy because of the care they receive. Some may use hospice for a period of time and actually see a rebound in their health to the point where hospice is no longer necessary because the individual has grown more healthy. While these situations shouldn’t be expected in employing hospice care, it should be noted that using hospice is not a terminal sentence and a sign of giving up. Instead, LB Hospice provides a platform for an individual and their family to live their best life for the rest of their life on earth.