By Alan Margolin, M.D., and Molly Bourne, M.D., Hospice By the Bay Medical Directors
Studies show that 80% of people say they would prefer to die at home, and that most patients nearing the end of life honor comfort and quality of life over curative efforts. In a recent study, hospice patients receiving individualized case management and the range of hospice services were compared to non-hospice patients with matched diagnoses and debilities. The hospice patients lived longer with a higher quality of life. Hospice allows people to die with comfort and dignity.
Yet, even when there is no hope for a cure, many physicians continue to pursue active treatment until the end. Unfortunately, this means many people die without hospice care’s pain management expertise and in-home support, spending their final weeks in facilities they wouldn’t have chosen.
After open discussions where the physician prepares the patient and family, Hospice By The Bay’s comfort measures can replace curative treatment, allowing for a peaceful death, and a rewarding experience for the physician who remains therapeutic and hopeful though an illness is terminal.
We urge you refer to Hospice By The Bay early. There is no penalty for referring too soon. The Hospice Team can help determine if it’s time for hospice care. Should your patient come on our service, you can stay involved with care, while we treat symptoms and provide spiritual, emotional and practical support to patients and their families.
Feel free to contact Hospice By The Bay’s medical directors throughout a patient’s illness. We are happy to consult with you on pain management, hydration, and other aspects of end of life care, as well as help you decide if it’s time to refer to Hospice By The Bay.