"How To Know When It’s Time For Hospice" - Stacey Burling
Hospice provides services aimed at caring for people at the end of life, not curing their ailments. Care is usually provided in people’s homes. Hospice provides some hands-on care, management of pain and symptoms, and drugs and supplies. “We don’t know when people are going to die,” said Diane Meier, MD, professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care at Mount Sinai. “It’s just not given to us.” Doctors are much better, she said, at knowing when patients need extra help. In general, experts such as Dr. Meier look at a “gestalt” that includes functional decline, worsening quality of life, and an increasing number of medical crises. “You look at their day-to-day life compared to six months or a year ago,” she said.
- Diane E. Meier, MD, FACP, Professor, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Medicine, Vice Chair, Public Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, Center to Advance Palliative Care