Clinical Phenomenology and Characteristics of Centenarians in Hospice

Kimberly L. Schoonover, Maria Isabel Lapid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Little is known about the hospice experience of centenarians. As the population of centenarians is projected to increase, understanding their unique end-of-life needs will be important to inform delivery of quality end-of-life care. Our objective was to characterize the hospice experience of centenarians. Methods: A retrospective single-institution cohort study of centenarians enrolled in hospice from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2017, was conducted to collect demographic and clinical information. Results: Seventeen centenarians, who comprised 1.4% of hospice admissions, had an average age of 102 years, were mostly female (71%) and widowed (76%), and all caucasian. Upon hospice admission, centenarians resided in nursing (8, 47%) and assisted living (4, 24%) residencies as well as at home (4, 24%) and in senior independent living (1, 6%). Sixty percent of centenarians died in a nursing home. The most common hospice admission diagnosis was dementia (35%). Median length of stay on hospice was 41 days (range: 16-85) for 15 persons who died or discharged live. Conclusions: In this group of centenarians, dementia was the most common condition for hospice enrollment. Slightly less than half resided in nursing homes on admission, although death occurred most frequently in a nursing home. Centenarians were generally able to remain out of the hospital at their time of death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Palliative Care
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • centenarians
  • hospice
  • oldest old

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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