What Is Hospice Care And What Are Its Purposes?

A new study conducted by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute concluded that terminal patients who chose to die at home with hospice had a better quality of life than people who passed away in the I.C.U.  There was less fear and less pain.  The patients and caregivers that sought aggressive treatment reported a higher anxiety and discomfort level.  Some suffered symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

I don’t think this is really startling news for many.  It’s a personal choice but this study reinforces the positive aspect of avoiding aggressive treatment. When a person decides to die peacefully at home when they know their time is running out they are often rewarded with a more peaceful and fulfilling end.

Why Is Hospice Care At Home Better?

For many of us, nothing can compare to the feeling of safety and comfort that we find by being at home. Even an animal will try to make it home to die.  Many of us would prefer to die at home if that is at all possible and fortunately with organizations like Hospice to support our decision, we can get what we wish for.  Not only do we have the option of staying home, we also have their support to be as pain-free as possible.

For me, quality of life is more important than quantity.  That being said, I’ve never walked in the shoes of someone facing these decisions and none of us can really say what choices we’d make if faced with such a decision.  Maybe this study will help some of us be strong and help us make our decisions for our own end of life.

What Are The Purpose Of Hospice Care?

I’ve had my own personal experiences with Hospice.  With both my parents, Hospice was there to help make the end of their lives easier and more comfortable. The goal of Hospice is to enable people to die at home with the least amount of pain.

What Does Hospice Do?

They come into the lives of people that are going through one of the hardest times of their lives.  We don’t have instructions or directions on what to do and most of us have little experience in helping someone to die.  People don’t want to or don’t know how to face or discuss the end. When Hospice comes into the picture, it’s as if they are your guide.

They not only help the patient but also help family members. Hospice is there when you have questions and to comfort you.  They were there for our parents.  They enabled us to talk about the end of life in a compassionate but yet factual way.  We’re all going to die but no one wants to talk about it. 

Don’t hesitate to bring them into the picture.  Yes, bringing Hospice into the picture is admitting the end is coming but it can make a difficult time much, much easier.

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