A recent study of the costs of dying in Ontario produced some shocking figures. An acute care hospital bed costs roughly $ 1,100 a day, while a hospice palliative care bed costs roughly $460 per day. In spite of the large price tag, the vast majority of patients are not well-served in a hospital at end-of-life, says Dawn Rodger, Executive Director of Beth Donovan Hospice.
Demographics show that end-of-life care costs will increase dramatically in the coming years.
Ontario spends nearly 10% of its total health budget on care during the last year of life, or $ 4.7 billion annually. Of that amount, $ 1.3 billion is spent in the final month of life. Rodger says everyone should have access to hospice care, close to home.
Hospices provide care for the entire family of the person who is dying. There are respite programs to give caregivers a break, grief counselors, day hospice and more.