Hospice is Underused, But Advanced Directives Could Help You Take Control
An incapacity planning lawyer can help you to take control over what kinds of medical care you may wish to receive if you are sick or hurt and cannot communicate your preferences. Advanced directives, such as a living will, can allow you to provide instructions for what care you do and don’t want to undergo if something unexpected occurs and you are badly injured or have an end-stage illness.
One of the things that you can specify is that you want to avoid extraordinary measures that might otherwise be used to save your life. You should also make clear to your loved ones if you want hospice care instead of aggressive interventions if your condition is terminal.
Hospice care can be a more peaceful way to end life and can provide support for families as well. Unfortunately, there are concerns that hospice is underused given the benefits that it can provide to individuals and their families. Zimmer Law Firm can offer advice on incapacity planning that allows you to make your preferences known so you can get the kinds of care that you feel are best in a serious medical situation.
Concerns that Hospice Care is Underused
Dayton Daily News reported on the fact that hospice care is not being used as often as it perhaps should be.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that more than a quarter of all patients who came to hospice care were only in hospice for a three day period of time before passing away. Of the people who were referred to hospice care with such a short time left to live, 40 percent came to hospice after first experiencing a stay in an intensive care unit.
A late referral after an extended stay in a hospital can undermine some of the many benefits that are associated with hospice care. The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management published a study on advantages of hospice care, which revealed that life can actually be extended for many patients who are terminally ill if those patients are referred to hospice care instead of being cared for in a hospital setting. Patients in hospice may live longer because they receive more supportive care and because they are subject to fewer aggressive medical interventions that could impact their life.
Hospice patients receive supportive care from a variety of professionals, including physicians, chaplains, social workers, nurses, and volunteers. Personalized services are provided, which vary from hospice to hospice, but which could include services such as music therapy and massage. Hospice can be provided in designated facilities, in hospitals, and even sometimes in patient’s homes. Not only does this provide a better environment with more holistic and palliative care solutions, but it can also cost less than keeping a terminal or end-stage patient in a hospital until the person passes away.
Because hospice can extend life, cost less, and provide a better quality of life, patients need to be educated about hospice and informed of its benefits. A patient’s medical team should provide information on hospice as an option so the patient can make a fully informed choice.
If a person selects hospice care, it is important that he or she clearly express preferences to caregivers and family members so appropriate arrangements can be made and so more aggressive medical interventions can be declined. Zimmer Law Firm can provide assistance to patients in making their incapacity plans if hospice is their choice for receiving end-of-life care. We can also assist with getting your affairs in order before you officially enter hospice care.
Getting Help from A Cincinnati Incapacity Planning Lawyer
There are many reasons why you may want to choose hospice and decline more aggressive medical interventions toward the end of your life.You should have the right to think carefully about all of the medical decisions that you could have to make in your future, and you should take steps to express your preferences in case a day arrives when you can no longer make your wishes known.
Let Zimmer Law Firm help. When you need an incapacity planning lawyer who can provide assistance you need to create advanced directives as a part of a comprehensive incapacity plan, we are here for you. Join us for a free seminar to find out more about what is involved in the incapacity planning process. You can also give us a call at 513.721.1513 to find out more about the ways in which our legal team can help with your incapacity plan.