It has been known that hospice care is beneficial in the very last days of a terminally ill patient’s life. New research suggests that longer stays in a hospice are even more beneficial.
When a terminally ill elderly patient has only a few days left to live, it is now common to move the patient from a hospital or nursing home to a hospice. Staying in a hospice allows the patient to pass away more comfortably and often in a more home-like environment.
It is normally also beneficial to patient’s family members.
People often report that their loved ones are better cared for and more comfortable in a hospice. That can help the family with the grieving and acceptance processes.
FOX News reports on a new study that not only supports these beliefs, but also provides new insight into hospice care in “Hospice care linked to higher family satisfaction.”
The research was conducted with 1,970 terminal cancer patients, approximately half of whom received hospice care.
The study found that hospice care led to better pain-management, symptom relief and end-of-life care. Families of patients who received hospice care were more satisfied than the families of those who did not.
One important finding was that longer stays in a hospice were associated with greater amounts of satisfaction. Hospice stays longer than 30 days were the most beneficial.
Elder advocates and the family members of terminally ill patients can learn from this study. Many people think hospice should be saved for the very end of life, but the findings of this study suggest that earlier hospice enrollment may benefit both the patient and their family.
Reference: FOX News (January 5, 2017) “Hospice care linked to higher family satisfaction.”