Research conducted on behalf of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in 2012 has shown that a vast majority of those who have had an experience with hospice care providers, such as a loved one who received care at the end-of-life, have a very positive perception of hospice. But many others, who have not had a direct encounter with hospice, have questions, fears and misconceptions about what hospice is and what services it provides. Read more at Huffington Post
Most people are referred to hospice by their doctor. Patients, family members, even friends can also make referrals. If you’re looking for a program, check with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. But beware: More than half of U.S. hospice programs are for-profit, according to Medicare figures, and several recent news reports have highlighted problems at some of those programs.
I am a nurse, a nationally recognized expert in care of the aged and senior program officer at the John A. Hartford Foundation, which is devoted to improving the care of older people in the United States. Yet my perspective is not simply professional. For, you see, I live with Stage 4 (end-stage) inflammatory breast cancer. And while this metastatic cancer will one day kill me, the advanced-care planning conversations I have had with my health-care team have been lifesaving since my diagnosis.