More prefer to die at home than in hospital

A new study that finds that from 2000 to 2015, more senior citizens who are insured by Medicare were more likely to die at home.

Houston Hospice Team Physician and education liaison Dr. Hanh Trinh said not only is it more cost effective, patients and families are recognizing that it's kinder to be in a home setting.

“Family and friends can come and visit without having to sign in or go into an artificial building environment, and patients can be in their element,” said Trinh. “Guide the patient and family along the way, knowing that the patient is going to get weaker no matter what we do, we just want them to be comfortable.”

In hospice care, a whole team of people come to the house: doctor, nurse, social worker, bereavement coordinator, chaplain and volunteers.

The National Institute of Medicine defined a “good death” as one that is “free from avoidable distress and suffering for patients, families and caregivers” and “in general accordance with patients’ and families’ wishes.” It found that a patient’s death in the intensive care unit “is seldom viewed as a good death."

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