Some people believe you turn to hospice during the last few days of life. But if you ask someone who has had a family member in hospice, they will likely tell you that hospice is what you turn to when you want your loved one to have peace. Anyone with first-hand experience watching a loved one battle a terminal illness would agree that peace is exactly what they want for their loved one.

Hospice is recommended for people diagnosed with a terminal illness who have a prognosis of six months or less to live. And while many wait until the last few days or weeks of a person’s life to bring in hospice care, it can be started much earlier. And most people tell us that they wish they had started hospice sooner. 

Take former and longest-living President Jimmy Carter, who has been in hospice care since February. Hospice has allowed his family to focus on spending quality time with him rather than fussing over his comfort, which is left in the capable hands of his hospice care team. President Carter is a perfect example of a person using hospice as it was intended to provide peace and comfort at the end of life. Plus, he’s reportedly still eating peanut butter ice cream regularly. That’s a win for anyone with a sweet tooth!

Studies have shown that people live longer when hospice is started sooner. But why is this the case? Find out below.

Hospice Allows for a Focus on Comfort.

One reason is comfort. Controlling pain relaxes the body. As most of us know, stress wreaks havoc on the body and can hasten illness and disease progression. 

Hospice Allows for a Shift in Mindset.

For many patients, the switch from curative care to hospice care provides feelings of relief. They no longer need to spend countless hours receiving treatments, nor are they contending with the adverse side effects of said treatments. The shift to hospice allows for a change of focus – from curative to comfort. The entire focus of the care becomes about keeping the patient comfortable. The patient can focus on living their remaining days, weeks, or months well. Because of this, the patient enjoys an increased quality of life. 

Hospice Provides Support for the Family.

Hospice isn’t just for the patient. The hospice care team is trained to support family members during this tumultuous time. At Hospice of Redmond, we provide ongoing bereavement support for children and adults. 

Hospice Provides Time for Connection.

When you take the pressure and stress of caring for a terminally ill family member or friend out of the equation, you can focus on spending quality time with one another. Many people report that because of hospice, they were able to create positive lasting memories with their loved ones. Seeing their family member comfortable and at peace is one of the greatest memories a person can carry. Hospice helps make this possible.

Hospice provides the opportunity for connection, laughter, peace, comfort, and closure. We believe every person has the right to die with dignity and meaning. Starting hospice as early as possible is the best option for everyone involved. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and has a prognosis of six months or less, explore receiving a referral for hospice. We are also available to answer any questions you may have. Call us so we can help you navigate wherever you are in the process.