HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - It's a subject most of us would rather not talk about: where a terminally ill loved one will spend their final days, but a new program to help families deal with this difficult situation.
A new government study finds that more terminally ill Americans prefer to die at home than in a hospital or nursing home. Those findings come as no surprise to the people at the Holyoke Visiting Nurses Association
"It's more comfortable not only for the patient but the family, you can eat what you want, sleep in your own bed, It's just more comfortable and you get better care," said Holyoke VNA Hospice Director Marie Dietz.
That's why the visiting nurses support what's known as the Conversation Project . They've even designed a conversation starter kit to help Springfield-area families answer questions such as: "Is the quality of life more important than living a longer life?," and "Am I worried I won't get enough care at the end?"
The Holyoke VNA is trying to place the questionnaire into the hands of as many senior citizens as possible.
Thomas and Nicole Perrier of Holyoke understand it's very tough having an end-of-life talk with their children.
"Already you're saying, your dead. That's what you're talking about, being dead," Thomas Perrier said.
It's often less expensive to spend the last days at home, says Holyoke Medical Center's Dr. Karen Ferroni.
"There are some benefits available out there for hospice care, some insurance companies provide some benefits for home care," Ferroni said.
Seniors 22News spoke with on Wednesday say that they want to know more about the Conversation Project, and the questions they're asked.