It’s difficult to put a value on hospice care, but starting the conversation now about your end-of-life health care wishes can make a huge difference in the quality of care and comfort that you receive in your final months and weeks.
Unfortunately, many families wait too long to consider it an option.
“We know that making the decision to choose hospice care isn’t easy,” says Linda Todd, executive director of the Hospice of Siouxland. “We are urging every family to start the conversation with those they love about the end of life.”
That conversation, Todd says, is meant to turn questions into answers, concerns into choices and beliefs into directives. There are many decisions to make about our end-of-life care, and they are not easy.
“Whether it be your own wishes, or that of a loved one, it is one of the most difficult discussions that we face,” says Todd. “But we all know it is important.”
In a recent study on hospice enrollment conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, researchers found that hospice patients had significantly lower rates of hospital and intensive care use, hospital readmissions and in-hospital death when compared to non-hospice patients.
“Planning ahead,” says Todd, “especially when it comes to these end-of-life situations, makes it easier for you, your doctors, and your loved ones to ensure that your wishes are carried out. So, it’s important to start those conversations early, and not be afraid to make decisions while you’re well enough to do so.”
It’s easy to get things started: just start talking to those you love. Today.