End of life care provides personalized care to dying patients. The main goal of hospice care is to give the patients a sense of dignity and respect their requests. Listening to the patient’s final wishes builds a supportive environment not only for the patient, but also for their family. After all, everyone deserves to be treated as a human being when dying. Continue reading “How can applying the motives of hospice care to other medical settings improve the quality of healthcare?”
Usually, end of life care can take up the last few years of a person’s life depending on the type of illness they have. In Chapter 10 of Weitz, he tells us that Medicare only pays for 6 months of end of life care in hospices. This forces the hospices to choose patients that would fit within that 6 month time span, so that they don’t need to pay out of pocket for those patients. Becoming federally funded rather than non-profit and for care caused hospices to have to adjust to these rules. Is it fair for those who do not fit in this 6 month time span to just be sent away from hospices, just because the federal government won’t pay for them? It seems like this is very similar to the time before Obamacare when insurance companies would turn down people due to pre-existing conditions that they didn’t want to, in the long run, end up funding.
In the article “Abraham House: ‘Next best thing to home’“, author Amy Neff Roth investigates an Upstate NY model comfort home for the terminal ill, and interviews some patients in the home along with family members with experiences. I was initially struck by the caption under the article photo: “ ” In my mind, this mirrors the statistic we learned about in class regarding how many people die in hospital settings against their wishes. Thus, Roth provides us with a view of an alternative: a home-like pallative care hospice setting.
I personally have had a family member pass of Leukemia in a hospice like setting, The Abraham House. Even with the entire family in agreement, it was still difficult to see my relative there and accept that there were no available treatment options left at his stage. He was in the home for three to four months, during which time he developed strong relationships with the daily staff. This nonprofit hospice model proved to be one of the best experiences with the healthcare system that he ever had, and truly brought him comfort during his last few months. The home was modeled after a real home, with a real kitchen, living room, and patient rooms. Caregivers cooked home-esque meals, and offered to eat with patients if possible. My uncle’s health actually briefly improved once he was transferred into the home from highly medicalized hospital settings. If anything, the Abraham House is the gold standard of pallative care.
In the Documentary we watched today in class, it was mentioned that medical students should spend time on a hospice rotation before beginning their profession in medical practice. After everything we have learned throughout the semester about physician-patient relationships, and patient-centered care, and things of that nature, and now learning from the video the morals behind hospice care, it almost seems necessary to me for students to have a rotation at some point in a hospice facility. It teaches young doctors and soon to be doctors how to build relationships with the people they are treating, so that they do not lose their identity and become identified by their disease like patients so often do. Continue reading “Hospice Care”