Former President Jimmy Carter is changing the conversation around hospice care.

Nearly eight months into receiving at-home care, he’s helping families better understand what it means to comfort ailing loved ones and recently celebrated his 99th birthday.

Carter’s hospice experience has dispelled two of the biggest myths about hospice; that it’s only for the final days or hours of a person’s life, and it’s a place that you go. He’s been under hospice care for over seven months and has remained in his home.

Hospice aims to offer comfort and extend the quality of life for patients often in their own homes through a team of nurses, social workers, and volunteers providing personalized care.

Who is eligible for hospice?

To be eligible for hospice, a physician must determine that the patient has a life expectancy of six months or less IF the disease runs its usual course. Many patients receive hospice care and live much longer as a result, as treatment of the burdensome symptoms of illness has been shown to extend life.”

Hospice services are covered through Medicare and most insurance.

In May, Jason Carter shared an update on his grandfather, Jimmy Carter.

“I think it’s been gratifying for the whole family to see the outpouring of support over these last few months,” Jason Carter said. “He has been able to experience it in some ways and it’s really been heartening to see the amount of love and respect that people around the world have had for him.”

When do people typically seek hospice care?

People should seek hospice care when:

  • A doctor determines that a patient has a terminal illness
  • Doctors or providers suggest hospice care, or
  • The patient or their caregiver asks to begin hospice care

Choosing to seek hospice care is a personal choice.

Benefits of hospice

  • Hospice care allows people to get medical care in their own home
  • Hospice care often prevents or reduces trips to an emergency room for a more aggressive type of care
  • Hospice workers can help with daily chores like cooking, and cleaning, among other things
  • Bereavement counseling for loved ones is also offered

Typically for those nearing the end of their life, studies show that many who get hospice care earlier actually live longer.

For more information or to discuss if hospice services are right for your family member, call your local CHP Home Care & Hospice office or 419-238-9223, or fill out this form.