Researchers have found several key differences among people who receive hospice care - which maintains or improves the quality of life for someone whose condition is unlikely to be cured - in assisted-living facilities (ALFs) compared with people who receive hospice care at home.
People receiving hospice care in ALFs were more likely to be older and female than people who received hospice care at home. Also, people living in ALFs enrolled in hospice care much earlier than patients living in home settings. This allowed them to receive more help from the hospice team before death. The majority of people living in ALFs also remained in their residence until their death. Additionally, people who received hospice care in ALFs were much less likely to die in an inpatient hospice unit in a hospital than people who received hospice care at home.
"This study identifies several ways in which people in ALFs may receive different care near the end of life, which may be useful information as older adults decide whether - and when - to move to an ALF," said Dr. David Casarett, lead author of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study.
Study: Hospice Care in Assisted Living Facilities Versus at Home: Results of a Multisite Cohort Study, Meredith Dougherty MS, Pamela S. Harris MD, Joan Teno MD, MS, Amy M. Corcoran MD, Cindy Douglas MSN, RN, Jackie Nelson RN, BSN, MPH, Deborah Way MD, CMD, Joan E. Harrold MD, MPH and David J. Casarett MD, MA, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, DOI: 10.1111/jgs.13429, published online 19 June 2015.