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Marvin Fagerlind

October 12, 2014
Reinbeck Courier

Dear Editor,

Despite the growing number of Americans seeking end of life care, the number of short stays in hospice is troublesome. Nearly 1 in 3 patients receive hospice services for less than seven days. Half of the patients are on hospice care for less than three weeks.

Hospice can be provided when life expectancy is six months or less. By offering support early on to those suffering from serious illness, hospices are better able to manage symptoms and relieve pain. This type of care provides the patient and family with comfort, helps relieve stress and anxiety and extends the patient's quality of life.

What many may not know is that over the last five years, there have been three university studies. In each study, comparing persons with particular diagnoses on hospice and others not in hospice, those on hospice tended to live longer. While not surprising to some, it is probably not what others would have expected. With patients being more comfortable in hospice cares - nutrition and mood improve. Unfortunately, many just wait too long to use this valuable service.

Marvin Fagerlind, Cedar Valley Hospice Executive Director



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