End of Life Conversations
The word hospice often brings to mind a picture of a person on his or her
deathbed being comforted by a volunteer or hospice staff member. The belief
that hospice care must be reserved for the last days or hours of life
is a misunderstanding that causes many people to miss out on the improved
quality of life that hospice may offer. Discussing the many advantages
of hospice care can help assure acceptance of this supportive, cost saving program.
When approaching a friend or loved one about hospice, share that hospice is:
- NOT giving up. It's a way to take control of your care when a disease
or condition is no longer curable.
- Focusing on quality of life rather than quantity of life by having care
that helps the patient continue to live despite the disease.
- Access to the most up-to-date advances in pain and symptom management.
Getting care and support for the
entire family, wherever the patient lives.
- Having access to a team of end-of-life care specialists that address the
whole person medically, emotionally, spiritually, and practically.
- Addressing the needs and concerns of the patient's caregivers, family
- Accepting care that saves patients and families hundreds of dollars a month.
- Reinforcing the belief that living with end-stage disease does not mean
waiting to die. It is acknowledging that when there is no hope for a cure,
there is still reason to hope.
Below are resources for talking with patients and families about then end of life.