Hospice

Preparing for a Loved One to Die at Home

David Walter Banks for The New York Times A few key pieces of equipment that can make life easier and safer for the patient may be required in the bathroom. Most of us, when asked about how and where we want to die, answer simply “at home.” Making that happen is not always as simple(…)

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On the Way to Hospice, Surprising Hurdles

iStock I’ve often wondered why more families don’t call hospice when a loved one has a terminal disease — and why people who do call wait so long, often until death is just days away. Even though more than 40 percent of American deaths now involve hospice care, many families still are trying to shoulder(…)

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Forced to Choose: Exploring Other Options

Ruby Washington/The New York Times I wrote last week about the poor choices facing patients, most very old and within six months of death, who need nursing home care after a hospitalization. Medicare will pay for hospice, the acknowledged gold standard for those at the end of life and their families, and it will also(…)

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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(…)

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Turning a Home Into a Hospital

Courtesy of Linda G. Beeler Yetta Weiner at her 99th birthday party. At age 96, my mother moved to New York City to live with me and my family in our two-bedroom Manhattan apartment after becoming increasingly isolated while living alone in Florida. She moved into my sons’ bedroom surrounded by all manner of adolescent(…)

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Managing the Assisted Living vs. Hospice Dilemma

Ruby Washington/The New York Times Comfort for a patient in a hospice in New York. When hospice services are brought into assisted living facilities for older residents with terminal illnesses, problems can arise, as I wrote last week. Good communication between families, hospice staff, assisted living staff and paid caregivers (if they’re part of the(…)

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Assisted Living vs. Hospice: Who’s in Charge?

Ruby Washington/The New York Times It was an emergency, the older woman told a hospice worker in a phone call in the middle of the night. Her husband wasn’t doing well and someone needed to come and check on him. For more than an hour, the woman waited nervously on the couch in the couple’s(…)

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Court: You Can Appeal Medicare Decisions About Hospice Services

When Emily Back lay dying and in excruciating pain, her hospice made a decision that her husband couldn’t accept. Ignoring a doctor’s order, the organization said it wouldn’t supply Ms. Back, who was 81, with Actiq, a fast-acting, powerful narcotic that a patient sucks on, like a lollipop. That outraged Howard Back, who then bought(…)

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Discovered: The Magic Word

The word “hospice” usually evokes a shift, a pivot from trying to cure to providing comfort and support at the end of life. Hospice workers help people through the final weeks and months of terminal illness, easing dying people’s pain and fear, bolstering their exhausted families. But in one case I heard about recently, the(…)

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