How You Die May Depend on Where You Live
Cancer patients may be less likely to receive hospice care in some cities than in others, a study suggests. The Washington Post reports:
Overall, the researchers found that one-third of patients spent their last days in hospitals and intensive-care units. But there was a big range. At one end was Manhattan, where 46.7 percent died in the hospital. In contrast, only 7 percent of cancer patients died in the hospital in Mason City, Iowa. …
Use of hospice care also varied a lot. In at least 50 academic medical centers, fewer than half of patients with a poor prognosis receive hospice services, the researchers found. And in some hospitals, patients were referred to hospice care so close to the day they died that it was unlikely to have provided much benefit.
Though the researchers have theories, the study didn’t examine why the care varied. But for us, perhaps the message is: advocate for what you want. Ask questions. Don’t assume.
You can read the article here: “Wide Disparities Are Found in End-Stage Cancer Treatment.”
For more discussion on hospice care, you may find these articles helpful:
- “Time for Hospice? Don’t Count on Doctor’s Advice, Surgeon Says”
- “Hospice Not Cut-and-Dry for Dementia Patients: Questions to Ask”
- “Hospice Myths, Busted: Learn the Facts, From HFA”
If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.