Forced to Choose: Nursing Home vs. Hospice

An older person, someone who will die within six months, leaves a hospital. Where does she go?

Almost a third of the time, according to a recent study from the University of California, San Francisco, records show she takes advantage of Medicare’s skilled-nursing facility benefit and enters a nursing home. But is that the best place for end-of-life care?

In terms of monitoring her vital signs and handling IVs — the round-the-clock nursing care that the skilled-nursing facility benefit is designed to provide — maybe so. But for treating end-of-life symptoms like pain and shortness of breath, for providing spiritual support for her and her family, for palliative care that helps her through the ultimate transition – hospice is the acknowledged expert. More at the NY Times.

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About The Rev. Thomas C. Jackson

Ordained to the priesthood in December, 2010.
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