Objective: This essay identifies elderly cancer patients as a population that experiences cancer-related health disparities at the end-of-life.
Methods: While hospice and palliative care (PC) are care options for this population, it is argued that PC prior to hospice will yield numerous benefits for long-term end-of-life care.
Results: It is theorized that PC prior to hospice will be beneficial in meeting the family's needs in a timely and adequate manner, improving quality of life, increasing caregiver satisfaction and communication, possibly delay institutionalization of the patient, and may ultimately impact bereavement.
Conclusion: Patients would be able to benefit from PC in an early stage of their disease, positively influencing older cancer patients and families.
Practice implications: Long-term assessment of the impact of PC prior to hospice is proposed as a promising direction of future research.