Know your hospice choices


To the Editor:

Thanks to Phyllis Segal for her always timely letter about the value of hospice care. We on Martha’s Vineyard are fortunate to have Hospice and Palliative Services nearby. From both my personal and professional experiences, I know that we must continue to broaden the understanding of hospice as a choice and an approach to care. For too many people, the word “hospice” is a synonym for “death sentence,” when it is a comprehensive approach to care. For too many, hospice means residential care, when that care can be delivered at home, in a care facility, or in a freestanding, homelike facility. Some fear that this person-centered care is unaffordable, when Medicare and Medicaid both offer hospice coverage. Knowing the choices we have in healthcare provides both comfort and a sense of control to families and solo agers.


Iris C. Freeman