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Letter from our Executive Director – June 21, 2023

Dear Lillian,

President Jimmy Carter continues to live his last days on hospice, while his wife was recently diagnosed with Dementia. You may or may not be aware, but the fact that President Carter is still on hospice is unusual. The majority of patients in hospice die within a week. That is not because hospice speeds up their death, but more likely because people do access this compassionate resource until the very last few days of life. This is unfortunate because hospice typically does such a wonderful job of relieving pain and suffering, not just for the patient but for the patient's family as well. Too many people are not informed about this option, or don't have the information needed to make the informed decision to choose hospice.

We know that the majority of people want to die peacefully, surrounded by family. This is often the goal of hospice care. President Carter is a perfect example of how hospice can relieve suffering and allow people to live their final days with quality as the focus. I read an article recently stating that he is enjoying time with family and eating ice cream. Sounds like the way I want to live my final days as well (vanilla ice cream with chocolate magic shell from Dairy Queen, please!) I applaud him and his family for sharing his story publicly so more people understand the benefits of this very needed care.

Mandi Zucker, LSW, CT
Executive Director

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