dying

What to look for when choosing hospice care

This is the fifth article in a five-part series that explores the experiences of patients and families who have used hospice services.

Hospice services are intended for people who are believed to be in their last six months of life. Hospice is based on the concept that "each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity," according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Hospice: 'Their only regret is not approaching it sooner'

This is the fourth article in a five-part series that explores the experiences of patients and families who have used hospice services.

Wendy’s opening comments are typical of those of people who have had family members in hospice: “I didn’t know anything, really, about hospice. Having my mother pass there was just great -- it was just such a gift.”

She explained, “She had Stage IV lung cancer. She went through chemo. She was sick for a long time. My dad was healthy and took care of her and she wanted to die at home.”

Given a choice, woman prefers hospice to home

This is the third article in a five-part series that explores the experiences of patients and families who have used hospice services.

Emotions run high when family members start talking with organizations that provide hospice, as husbands and wives and sons and daughters of formerly vibrant, active people confront the fact that their loved one's condition isn't going to improve. Despite the challenging circumstances, hospice often shines even though the road is sometimes rocky.

Madeline tells her story.

Without hospice, 'my experience would have been 1000% different'

This is the second article in a five-part series that explores the experiences of patients and families who have used hospice services.

Most people are unfamiliar with hospice care. This series demystifies it by sharing with you what family members of hospice patients think that you might want to know about it.

Hospice care provides great benefits but isn't perfect

This is the first in a five-part series that explores the experiences of patients and families who have used hospice services.

"Nearly 80 percent of us want to die at home, polls have shown, but most die in the hospital, often strapped to a bed in the intensive care unit. And a recent study suggests that many people are subjected to surgery, even in the last week of their lives." These hard facts are reported in a Washington Post article by Dr. Manoj Jain.

Dignity and respect important for patients

James, age 64, was a successful businessman who had retired a few years earlier on his doctor’s orders, to reduce the stress in his life. His wife Helen, several years younger, was still working. When James suggested traveling, Helen declined, citing the press of work. She would retire in another year or two, and they would have plenty of time to travel then.

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