Hospice Is About Choices
By definition, hospice is a choice:
- The choice to opt for comfort care rather than curative care
- The choice to be at home, with family and a hospice team, rather than in a hospital
- The choice of one hospice provider over many possibilities
- For physicians, the choice to refer to a specialist in end-of-life care and play a collaborative role
Everyone needs control
For patients with serious progressive illness, control is probably a distant memory. Being able to count on anything-from how they feel to how their day will progress to major decisions being made on their behalf-is beyond their control. If they act like pawns or victims, it's because that's how they've come to feel.
Everyone needs to have some control, to be given choices and asked what they prefer. When seriously ill patients transition to hospice, VITAS gives back control. The patient tells their hospice team what hospice should look like, what makes them feel better, how they hope to spend their days.
The family has a say too. Along with the hospice team, they create a care plan for the patient that reflects personal and family culture, traditions, choices.
The right choice
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and healthcare providers today talk about aiming for the right care in the right place at the right time. All require the right choices.
At VITAS we work with referral sources to identify patients who are no longer responding to curative care as hoped, to define the care that will meet that patient’s medical and psychosocial needs, and to understand that hospice care works best over weeks and months, not days or hours.