Former President Carter Chooses Hospice CareBy Veita Bland, M.D. / February 23, 2023
President Jimmy Carter has again played a major role in helping Americans examine their lives and how they live it. A survivor of several illnesses and at the ripe old age of 98, he made the decision to stop his fight against cancer and to transition into hospice care.
President Carter has allowed Americans to see that transitioning to hospice allows him the ability to engage one of the most misunderstood yet vital aspects of total medical care.
Transitioning to hospice is not giving up but rather it is allowing a branch of medicine the ability to provide care and support to himself and his family during this most difficult time of his life.
When a person enters hospice care the focus changes. In hospice, the emphasis is on managing the symptoms of the illness. The alleviation of pain and suffering. This will improve the quality of the person’s life.
Then there is emotional support for the patient and the family. Hospice workers are experts at providing this needed aspect of care. They are a trained shoulder to lean on that will help you navigate the transitioning of a loved one. This support is provided to the patient and to their family.
Hospice can also provide spiritual support when wanted and appropriate.
Hospice providers include physicians, nurse practitioners, PA’s, nurses, social workers, care givers, technicians and religious providers such as ministers, priests, Imams, and rabbis.
The teams are structured to provide the specific needs and wants of the patient and their family members. Hospice is structured to provide this comfort and support for those who are felt to have six months or less to live. These services may be provided in a myriad of settings. Certainly, in the home of the patient is what most think of but hospice care can also be in a facility dedicated to hospice care or in the hospital. These services are all usually covered by the insurance of the patient and will include in most cases the medications, needed equipment and supplies.
There are those who believe hospice is the one facet of medicine that helps patients intersect the science of medicine with the spirituality of the patient and their family.
A true facet of medicine, hospice provides guidance in navigating the end-of-life journey. A journey that we all must navigate. Hospice provides the best medicine has to offer at a difficult time. It is a facet of medicine that more people should take advantage of.
We thank President Carter for shining a light on this facet of medicine as he transitions from this earth.
Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wed. Email Dr. Bland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Former President Jimmy Carter is a survivor of several illnesses and at the age of 98 he made the decision to stop his fight against cancer and to transition into hospice care.