Friday, July 06, 2012

Hospice for the "hip"

Hip hip—not end of your leg hip. Holly Ramer, AP, writes that hospice is gearing up for the boomers and they want more than someone to hold their hand at the end.

Now, says one hospice director, hospice helps people go golfing, drives them to the casino or out to dinner.

More than a million and a half people got hospice care in 2010. That’s twice the number from a decade before.

Mostly the service is in the person’s home—periodic visits. Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance is down with this.

Usually a doctor says you have six months or less left and you are not pursuing life-prolonging treatment.

Hospice used to be mostly for cancer patients—now that population is only a third.

A flood of boomers is coming. Hospice is changing. Workers hope the hip boomers will take charge of end of life just like they did the natural childbirth movement at the beginning of life.

They make hospice sound pretty OK—but I can wait a spell.

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