How to Choose a Hospice
While most types of medical care and services provided at a medical facility have the goal of helping the patient recover, hospice care has a different goal. Hospice care provides practical support for individuals who are facing a disease or health condition which is unlikely to improve, and the patient's medical prognosis for life is six months or less.
Hospice care also allows terminally ill patients to choose to forego further testing and medical interventions and attempts to make their final days as comfortable and pain free as possible.
Is Hospice Right For You?
Determining whether hospice care is right for you or a loved one is a difficult decision. There are, however, some common signs that indicate it might be time for hospice care. These can include the following:
10 Signs hospice care might be the best choice:
- The patient meets specific health and medical criteria as determined by a physician.
- The patient's life expectancy is six months or less.
- The patient's disease has progressed to the point there is no cure, and it is time to manage the pain to seek the greatest comfort possible.
- The patient is not seeking additional testing or hospitalization.
- The family is prepared to let go and say goodbye.
- The patient has loss of appetite and resists or refuses meals and liquid.
- The patient has had repeated trips to the emergency room.
- The patient has an increase in pain, breathing distress, and nausea.
- The patient is listless, withdrawn and is sleeping more.
- The patient is unable to care for themselves and needs assistance dressing, eating, bathing, walking, and going to the restroom.
Hospice Care can help the whole family
Caring for a terminally ill loved one can be stressful for the entire family. Hospice care offers support and care not only to the patient, but also to the entire family.
Hospice care may be the right decision for your loved one if you are not emotionally and physically able to care for them, you are isolated by their physical care and need additional support, or if you are unable to emotionally cope with your loved one's impending death.
A hospice care facility has resources and staff trained to provide quality end of life care. They can offer you the support you need to make your loved one as comfortable as possible.