Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, 2014. Photo from LBJ Library
News of former President Jimmy Carter’s health brings new awareness about hospice care.
As former President Carter enters hospice care, it brings renewed focus to hospice, and the role it plays in a good death.
Discussing death and end of life can be and often is a tough topic for a patient and their families. “Nobody can avoid it. Nobody can ignore it. Nobody can buy their way out of it,” said Kelley Clem. “And so many people come to us in the last few days or weeks and our length of stays are much shorter than we would love to see because we know how much we can contribute to that transition.” … Hospice Buffalo CEO Dr. Christopher Kerr said “the role of medicines usually is overstated. Nature takes care of this far more than people imagine. There’s a role for medications, but not to the degree or not in the amount that people fear. Our role is not to hasten death. What we’re trying to do is actually maintain quality of life for as long as we can so people are engaged and can communicate and relate to their loved ones.” He said hospice gives the intensity of services that matches the intensity of need.