Early Goals-of-Care Talks Could Improve Hospice Access for Dementia Patients

Posted Saturday, April 9, 2022

A recent study by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine examined ties between the end-of-life wishes expressed by 742 patients with cognitive impairment or dementia and the services they received.

The results indicate a need for hospices to engage with families earlier in their disease process and educate them about their care they provide, according to study co-author Lauren Hersch Nicholas, associate professor of health systems, management and policy at the Colorado School of Public Health.

“Many of the patients in our sample would be appropriate for hospice care and did not necessarily receive it or receive it as soon as they may have qualified,” said Hersch Nicholas. “This points to a need for hospice staff to potentially reach patients and families earlier in the process and integrate with the care team.”

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