I frequently introduce the idea of hospice care long before my client’s physician has given it a thought. Hospice care has been a tremendous benefit for my clients and their caregivers. Patients in hospice are seen weekly by a nurse case manager to provide symptom management. A hospice aide can offer multiple visits each week to provide help with personal care and companionship. Social workers, chaplains, and bereavement support staff also help the patient and their family members during this challenging time. Hospice care is offered to those who have a life-limiting illness that has a prognosis of 6 months or less. Patients that are referred to hospice early often have a better quality of life, improved symptom management, better family support, and prolonged survival.
It is my goal, as their advocate, to have that frank conversation about prognosis so my client can take advantage of all the benefits of hospice care.