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How do I know when my loved one is ready for hospice?

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Discussing hospice can be a beneficial option at any stage of a life-limiting illness. Patients as well as their families benefit the most when they are supported by the hospice team with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual support from their hospice team as early as possible.

You or your loved one may be ready for hospice when they have a serious, life-threatening illness with a life expectancy of six months or less, as diagnosed by a physician. This can be a result of numerous illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and more.

Hospice care is not just for the patient.

Having the hospice care team there to help can also provide valuable resources for the caregiver and other family members. Your care team can help with things like counseling, finding placement in a nursing home for respite care when needed, or navigating the confusion on health insurance and Medicare or Medicaid. They can also provide helpful resources for getting legal matters put in order, like living wills and power of attorney.

Plus, the nursing team is there to help alleviate some of the tasks of being a caregiver, including bathing the patient, personal care and more. They can provide helpful training for the caregiver to teach you how to comfort them, feed them, and care for them overall.

Hospice care focuses on comfort and pain management.

Comfort care and symptom management become the primary focus when curative treatment is no longer the patient’s choice or option. When patients opt to utilize hospice care, they are choosing quality of life over treatment plans that may just delay the inevitable.

Hospice care, and the comprehensive focus on all aspects of care, allow patients and families a chance to make memories that last. Research has even shown that with the help of hospice and palliative care, patients who elect to receive hospice care actually live longer with better quality of life.

“There’s an inaccurate perception among the American public that hospice means you’ve given up,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “Those of us who have worked in the field have seen firsthand how hospice and palliative care can improve the quality of and indeed prolong the lives of people receiving care.”

 Do you think you or your loved one might be ready for hospice?

Contact our team of experts to see how we can help you live better and make every day count.


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