What is hospice? Explaining end-of-life care former President Jimmy Carter and over one million Americans choose

More than a million families make the difficult decision to place a loved one in hospice care every year. Brookley Cromer gives us a closer look at the process
Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 10:11 PM EST
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ANDERSON, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Former United States President Jimmy Carter remains in hospice care at his home in Plains, Georgia.

At 98 years old, Carter is the longest living president.

Over one million families face the difficult decision every year, opting for hospice care ti ensure loved ones are happy and comfortable during their final days.

Dianne Selman cherishes memories of her younger brother, Tracy.

“He was happy just with what he had and everybody loved him and had the most beautiful smile,” Selman said.

A long-time volunteer at Hospice of the Upstate, she was prepared when her brother was admitted to the hospital in November.

“He was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and it had spread,” Selman said, “He was also diagnosed with COPD and it was inoperable.”

Tracy Owen’s family moved him to hospice care at home.

“It scared him at first but everybody is so willing to make you feel comfortable and he was very blessed to have hospice care at his end of life,” Selman said.

Hospice of the Upstate cares for more than 1,000 terminally ill patients and their families each year.

The non-profit, located in Anderson, accepts patients even if they can’t pay.

“Our mission is to truly serve that underserved population, all hospice patients, regardless of their diagnosis, and provide extensive bereavement support,” President and CEO of Hospice of the Upstate, Anne Miller, said.

Miller said the organization provided more than $100,000 of care to low-income and uninsured patients last year.

With more than 100 hospice organizations in South Carolina, the service allows patients to live more comfortably.

“They will see a nurse, a doctor, or a certified nursing assistant to help with personal care. They receive medication, supplies, a hospital bed, walker and wheelchair,” Miller said, “Our services are tailored to the stage of the disease progression of the patient.”

It’s a benefit and a blessing for Tracy’s family.

“They take care of every need that you have,” Selman said.

Find out more about Hospice of the Upstate.