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 improve understanding and acceptance of this valuable benefit.

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 their 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 and friends
  • 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 their end-of-life:

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