Elderly care, especially when it comes to end-of-life patient supervision, is frequently regarded as an inpatient medical endeavor guided by nurses and physicians. However, the reality of today’s health care provides patients with a variety of options concerning their stay during end-of-life care, including hospices, inward palliative care, and nurses’ home visits. Thus, according to the researchers, as much as 80% of the US residents would prefer to die at home, but the actual number of those dying at home remains remarkably small (Stanford School of Medicine, n.d.). However, despite such a discrepancy, it would be reasonable to state that for the year 2019, the patterns of US deaths reached an unprecedented rate of the number of at-home deaths among palliative patients. Thus, according to Cross & Warraich (2019), the number of deaths at home increased from 23.8% to 30.7% in 2017. However, the one issue that remains crucial in terms of people’s intention to die at home is the cost of outpatient palliative care and caregivers’ willingness to take care of end-of-life patients.
Indeed, when it comes to at-home care, many patients while feeling reluctant to die at hospitals with feeding tubes and ventilation machines, are also unwilling to become a burden to their families (Kolata, 2019). The best-case scenario for such an issue would be to settle for a nursery home or hospice, but both these options are financially challenging, so older people eventually die on the hospital premises. Thus, in order to change this tendency, caregivers and nurses should pay close attention to the wishes of end-of-life patients, whereas public policies should develop tangible solutions in terms of the cost of insurance and daily outpatient care. When working with such patients, nurses are to make sure they are doing their best to imitate their normal routine and talk to them on the subject of their wishes in order to have an action plan in case of an emergency.
Cross, S. H., & Warraich, H. J. (2019). Changes in the place of death in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 381(24), 2369-2370.
Kolata, G. (2019). More Americans are dying at home than in hospitals. The New York Times. Web.
Stanford School of Medicine. (n.d.). Where do Americans die? Web.