Hospice services are a valuable resource for people of all ages, but especially the elderly and their loved ones, providing comfort, care and support through the final stages of life. Despite the value of this service, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that very few elderly people who qualified for this level of care made use of it.
Here are some additional insights into the study and the value of palliative care programs, from the team at our assisted living hospice dedicated neighborhood in South Jersey:
Who is Making Use of Hospice and Palliative Care Services?
The study looked at 562 individuals over 70 years of age, with an average age of 87-years-old. Of all the participants, only 43% were admitted to hospice care in their last year of life, and half the participants only received 13 days or less of care.
Ideally, candidates who would benefit from this care have six months or less to live, so clearly these services are underutilized.
Why is it Better to Go into Hospice Earlier?
The most common reason for avoiding hospice care may very well be that this is a very difficult, emotional and distressing time for patients and their families. It represents a final part of a loved one’s life, and we’d all prefer focusing on their life rather than their passing.
The study also found that while certain terminal illnesses have a fairly predictable progression, others make it far more difficult to determine when treatment is no longer an option. Afflictions like frailty and dementia also make it more difficult to pinpoint when hospice care is the best choice. This makes it essential to keep in regular contact with physicians and ask questions about treatment plans and hospice programs so that families can make informed decisions that prioritize a loved one’s comfort and care when the time comes.
The reality is that hospice care is a valuable resource. It focusses on expert pain management, physical comfort and spiritual support, as well as social and physical activities tailored to your loved one’s needs.
They also provide support and care to families and loved ones, allowing them to step back as caregivers and spend quality time with their loved ones while compassionate staff makes sure their other needs are met. Hospice care also actively works to reduce hospitalizations for patients, ensuring their care and nursing needs are met in a more welcoming and comfortable community.
Find Out What Quality Care Means at Our Hospice in South Jersey
At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit organization in New Jersey, we offer care in a compassionate, professional hospice neighborhood in the Jersey Shore area called Bridges.
It focuses on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for individuals and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice neighborhood in Cape May County, please visit our website at https://theshores.umcommunities.org/hospice-care-nj/ or contact us today and schedule your visit.
Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/dont-wait-too-long-for-hospice-care/