Former President Jimmy Carter recently announced he has started home hospice care after a series of hospital stays. As praise for the 39th president rolled in, so did questions about what this means.
Letter: Carter's brave choice
Perry Farmer, Tulsa World
While many believe hospice care is for patients in the final hours or days of life, that’s not always the case. It’s true that a prognosis of six months or less to live is a necessary part of the criteria, but that prognosis is based on the typical disease progression.
Hospice care is designed to provide quality-of-life care to support the patient for however long they have and if the physicians believe that the prognosis hasn’t changed.
Studies have shown multiple benefits to beginning hospice care early, including a higher quality of life, better pain management, and a higher likelihood to see end-of-life wishes fulfilled — particularly for those who began care at least 30 days before death.