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Shift to Hospice Care Often Comes Too Late, Study Finds
Date:2/6/2013

that you need to advocate for yourself or your loved ones. Ask the doctor what the prognosis is. If it's your parent or spouse, talk to them about what's truly important to them. Do they want every measure to be taken or do they want to just be as comfortable as possible at the end of their lives?

"Often, the best way to get your loved one's wishes honored is to get hospice [care]," Teno said.

Tinetti added that there should be standards put into place for who receives ICU care.

"Why do we have to fill out 25 pages of forms to get hospice [care] or a skilled nursing facility, but not for ICU?" she said. "We need to start proactively thinking about ICU care, and what role it plays in the care of the critically ill."

More information

Learn more about hospice care from ElderCare.gov.

SOURCES: Joan Teno, M.D., professor, health services, policy and practice, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, R.I.; Mary Tinetti, M.D., professor, internal medicine and public health, Yale School of Medicine, chief, geriatrics, Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn.; Feb. 6, 2013, Journal of the American Medical Association


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