Recent studies show that individuals who are nearing their end of life are slow to take advantage of hospice care, but the benefits can begin months before the patient’s final days. Hospice of Central Iowa registered nurse Barbara Crozier says though it’s a scary time for patients and families they are there to help. She says often times people are overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn or what to do next but there are options available. Debbie Kissinger with the Hospice of Central Iowa says hospice care is not just about death, it’s about improving the quality of the end of life. Typically, Kissinger says hospice care is a 6 month benefit and the earlier a patient contacts the hospice, the better. That way, she says the team can really get to know the patient, their wants, needs, and wishes. Kissinger says while the Hospice of Central Iowa can help with medical care, they also care for the emotional, mental and spiritual needs of their patients.