MYRTLE BEACH, SC- A new study published by the Journal of American Medicine finds that patients in hospice care live longer than non-hospice patients.
The study recorded data from nearly 40,000 patients diagnosed with cancer and facing a poor prognosis. Results showed 75% of the non-hospice patients died within the year, as opposed to 14% of the hospice patients.
When Carol McCord’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she had two wishes.
“We wanted her to have her dignity and to know she was loved,” said McCord.
She said placing her mother in a medical facility was not an option, so she brought her into her own home, under her own care. McCord soon realized she couldn’t care for her mother alone. Her doctor recommended hospice care.
“The idea of having people come into my house everyday, I wasn’t really sure that I wanted that,” she said.
However, she eventually took her doctor’s advice and welcomed hospice into her home. After a year and a half, McCord said she has a different outlook on the situation.
“I look forward to having them come, they’re always so cheery and they’re just the kindest people.”
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization conducted a research study that yielded similar results to the Journal of American Medicine:
“The mean survival was 29 days longer for hospice patients than for non-hospice patients.”
The Community Relations Liaison for Hospice Care of South Carolina William Burr said the reason patients tend to live longer is hospice takes a holistic approach to health care that includes physical, spiritual and emotional.
McCord said the most important aspect of hospice care is it’s personal.
“The hospice people when they come in, mom is their only concern and they truly have bonded with her and made a relationship with her,” said McCord.
Hospice Care of South Carolina is planning a campaign called Home for the Holidays. Burr said the goal is to get as many patients as possible home for what could be their final holiday season. Call (843) 438-4905 for more information.