The end of life can be a challenging time for our clients and their loved ones. Traditionally, the medical community’s focus has been on prolonging life at all costs, but this approach can often lead to unnecessary suffering and a loss of dignity in the final days of a person’s life.
The book Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, a surgeon and public health researcher, makes a compelling case for a hospice-centered approach to end-of-life matters. This approach prioritizes quality of life over quantity of life and focuses on providing comfort and support for the client and their loved ones during the final stages of life.
One of the key benefits of a hospice-centered approach is that it allows clients to die with dignity and without the use of aggressive and often ineffective medical treatments. Hospice care focuses on managing symptoms and providing emotional and spiritual support, rather than trying to cure the underlying condition. This allows clients to spend their final days in comfort and peace.
Hospice care also includes support for the client’s family and loved ones. This can include counseling, grief support, and practical assistance with administrative tasks. This support is crucial for the client’s loved ones as they navigate the emotional and physical challenges of end-of-life care.
Another important aspect of hospice care is that it allows clients to pass away at home, rather than in a hospital or other institutional setting. This can provide a sense of familiarity and comfort for the client and their loved ones, and can also help to reduce the cost of end-of-life care.
In Being Mortal, Gawande argues that the medical profession must change the way it thinks about end-of-life care. He points out that the current system is often more focused on prolonging life at all costs, rather than providing a good quality of life for the client. He argues that a hospice-centered approach is more humane and ultimately more beneficial for clients and their loved ones.
A hospice-centered approach to end-of-life care can provide comfort, dignity, and support for both clients and their loved ones during this difficult time. It’s important for healthcare professionals and families to consider this approach as an option. It allows clients to die in peace and with dignity, and it supports the family members through a difficult season. Being Mortal can provide more insight on hospice and help families to understand how important it is to have a conversation about end-of-life care.