People don’t plan on dying. We tend to live in the present, making the most of every day. We spend more time and energy on deciding what’s for dinner or planning a vacation than addressing our last days on this earth and how we would like to leave. Dying is not what it used to be. It happens later and lasts longer. Seven out of 10 people say they would prefer to die at home, when the reality is nearly 70 percent of us die in a hospital or nursing home.
A fact, death will not escape us. It is inevitable. How we choose to spend our time at the end however is in our control. For some, advanced medical care and aggressive measures are their preferences when faced with a life limiting illness. For others, remaining pain free and experiencing a better quality of life up until the end is their wishes. How we choose to deal with death, or not deal, varies in each individual and the situation we may be faced with. The best time to prepare for the end and consider your options is before it’s necessary, so you and your family are not making decisions during a stressful time.
If dying at home is your preference, you may want to consider hospice. This can be a wonderful option in the last months of life due to the variety of services offered. Not only to the patient themselves, but the family and loved-ones who’ll be here too. Hospice is a unique service that provides medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support to people who are in the last stages of a life limiting illness. It does not speed up or slow down the process of dying. Hospice’s goal is to simply keep the patient as comfortable and pain-free as possible, in their own home, with loved ones nearby until death.
One of the biggest fears for all of us is, will it hurt when I die? Maybe this is why we don’t have these conversations or plan for the end. Maybe if we just ignore these questions it will go away? Wrong. Decide what matters most to you and what care is right for your end-of-life wishes. Dying doesn’t have to be scary. Hospice can help.