At the center of hospice is the belief that people should be able to die with comfort and dignity in their homes and that their families should receive the necessary support to allow them to do so. Patients on hospice have an average survival of 29 days longer than patients with natural progression of similar diagnoses that do not receive hospice care. The average survival period is 81 days longer for hospice patients with Congestive Heart Failure (Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Vol. 33, No. 3, March 2007).
Research from the National Hospice Foundation showed that 80 percent of Americans wished to die at home. Of the 2.4 million Americans who die each year, less than 25 percent actually die at home. Of the 950,000 patients who received hospice care, over 75 percent died at home.
The sooner a patient is referred to hospice, the more the hospice team can help alleviate symptoms specific to cardiac patients, which include:
- Shortness of breath, especially when lying down
- Feeling tired and rundown
- Swelling in feet, ankles, legs, and abdomen
- Pain or discomfort in the chest
- Weight gain from fluid buildup
- Confusion or inability to think clearly
The care team at Heart ‘n Home provides support to physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. They effectively anticipate, assess, treat, and prevent all types of physical symptoms that cause patients discomfort and distress. Working together as healthcare professionals, we can increase the quality of care for heart failure patients. To learn how you can help a loved one with end-stage heart failure, call us at 1-800-HOSPICE (800-467-7423).