Goals of Care Conversations: Planning for YOU!

Introduction:

The basic motive of hospice and early palliative care is to provide quality life to those who are longer eligible to be admitted in intensive care units. Its goal is to provide relief from pain and other distressing symptoms while affirming life and regarding dying as a normal process. We all are well aware of the fact how uncertain life events are how diagnosis of such life threatening diseases such as cancer could be a plain surprise to any individual. Where survival and enhancement of life is prayed for, the end where there is no chance of survival is expected should be taken care of as well. This is where hospice comes in place, providing emotional and spiritual support to the patients with proper team coordination makes the last days of life a bit more joyful

Planning of an aid system:

We all go through the phase where we sit and think of our lives. We plan it for the future, we plan it till the end, we think of the possibilities and scenarios which we might face running in a specific career. But most of us miss the part where we are helpless. When we have no one to rely on. When the sciences of the world have given up, when there is no medical treatment left to put you out of the misery that some diseases is pulling you in.  It is important to add this into your list when you plan it all out, to think of your end. To plan aid system for yourself, a team, a group of people to rely on for your emotional and spiritual support to focus end-of-life care and how to improve the process of dying. The hospice system has become essential in the recent years according to a few academic researches.

Main benefits of hospice care:

One of the main benefits of hospice is to help patients and their families with advance care planning and to help patients die at the location of their choice. Over the years, surveys have consistently shown that the majority of patients prefer home as the place to die. However, 77% of patients in Forst et al’s study died in the hospital. This might be due to short stays in hospice and an indicator that care might be shifted to supportive care shortly before death while patients were already admitted to the hospital. Earlier referral to hospice might offer one way to evaluate and respect patients’ wishes to die at the place of their preference, especially as hospitalizations correlate with more procedures and intensive care utilization at the end of life.

Hospice unawareness:

The major issue where people miss out hospice is unawareness. Researchers found lower odds of hospice enrollment and shorter lengths of stay for younger, male, less educated, nonwhite, and rural patients. These parameters suggest systemic barriers to hospice access. Patients and their families might still perceive hospice as “giving up” or might not be familiar with the benefits it can offer. One of the reason for people to miss out hospice are the appalling myths circulating regarding the hospice which we should clarify like, Hospice is not about giving up; it’s about living in comfort and dignity for the time one has left.

Goals of hospice care:

Hospice does not make death come sooner. The goal of hospice is neither to prolong life nor hasten death, but to make the quality of the patient’s life the best it can be in their final months, weeks and days. There are no studies that indicate that hospice can hasten death, but there have been studies showing that some patients live longer when receiving hospice services.

Conclusion:

Quite simply, hospice is recommended because we need patients to get all of the care they need. When curative treatment is no longer working or the patient decides they no longer wish to pursue curative treatment, this is when doctors recommend hospice to ensure the patient’s symptoms are managed. We should rely on hospice and consider this when we are planning our lives out to make our dying process better.

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