BENEFITS OF EARLY HOSPICE REFERRAL: A FAMILY EVALUATION
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This paper examines the evidence for the benefits of early hospice referral on the family caregivers of terminally ill adults. Specifically, the following benefits of timely referrals are examined: satisfaction with hospice services, emotional/spiritual support, and physical impact. These topics are then integrated into how they affect the role of the advanced practice nurse (APRN) and guidelines are provided for these practitioners as many times care of these patients is co-managed with a specialist and the primary care provider. Benefits of early hospice enrollment include increased satisfaction with hospice services and increased emotional and physical support during the patient’s dying process and bereavement period.