Benefits Of Starting Hospice Sooner

Seeking hospice care early on at the end of life stage, allows patients and families to receive many different health benefits both physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

Hospice care is an invaluable resource for patients and families facing a life-limiting illness. It provides comprehensive physical, emotional, and spiritual support to improve quality of life and reduce suffering. However, many patients and families wait too long to begin hospice care, missing out on the full spectrum of benefits it offers. 

All too frequently patients are not admitted into hospice until a few days before dying when, had they known about the hospice benefit sooner, they could have experienced more days of comfort care and peaceful time with their loved ones. According to a recent study from Yale University, half of all hospice patients are admitted to hospice too late to benefit fully from hospice care.

Hospice care improves the patient’s quality of life by managing pain and other symptoms, while improving the family and caregiver’s lives through added support and guidance during a difficult time.  Research shows that entering hospice care earlier rather than later in the course of illness has many advantages. Patients can receive specialized nursing care, medications, medical equipment, and supplies related to their terminal illness at no cost much earlier. Patients may be enrolled in hospice for at least the last six month of life.

Hospice offers Improved quality of life, reduced healthcare costs, support for caregivers, emotional support, and bereavement support for the patient and family.  Studies have shown that anticipator grief counseling is helpful for caregivers and patients to work through emotional issues before death occurs.

Because hospice care includes the wellbeing of the whole patient – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – earlier admission to hospice provides more quality time with loved ones. The patient is kept comfortable and experiences less stress and anxiety during the final months of life.


Dispelling the myth that hospice is giving up, studies have shown that hospice patients who are admitted early enough in the course of terminal illness have been shown to live 29 days longer than others, with more comfort and greater quality of life.


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