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How to Know When It’s Time For Hospice

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Published:  July 15, 2022

There is no one answer to the question of when it’s time for hospice care. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what is best for your loved one and what will provide them with the most comfort and support.

There are, however, some general guidelines that can help you determine whether hospice care is the right step. In this article, we’ll explore some of the signs that you should be aware of before considering hospice services.

Who Is Eligible For Hospice Care?

In order to be eligible for hospice care, a person must have a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less. They must also have chosen to focus on comfort care rather than curative treatment.

Signs to Watch Out For

There are several physical, emotional, mental, and practical signs that your loved one may begin to exhibit that indicate it’s time to start thinking about hospice care. It’s important to know what to look out for to ensure your loved one is as comfortable as possible during this difficult time.

Physical Signs

– Experiencing a decline in their overall health and are no longer able to participate in activities that they enjoy

– Difficulty eating and drinking and experiencing progressive weight loss.

– Experiencing more pain and having difficulty managing it even with medication

Emotional Signs

– Expressing a desire to stop treatment and focus on making the most of their remaining time

– Withdrawing from social interaction and activities that they used to enjoy

– Appearing to be at peace with their situation and are no longer fearful or anxious

Mental Signs

– Having difficulty concentrating or are experiencing confusion

– Experiencing severe memory loss

– Exhibiting signs of depression and changes in normal behavior

Practical Signs

– A decline in their ability to care for themselves and reliance on others for help with activities of daily living like bathing, eating, and using the restroom

– Have made decisions about their end-of-life care, such as whether to receive resuscitation if their heart stops

How can Hospice Help?

Hospice care is designed to provide comprehensive support for patients and their loved ones. Hospice teams are made up of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and trained volunteers who work together to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual support.

Hospice services can be provided in various settings, including the person’s home, a nursing home, or an inpatient hospice facility. Hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans.

Making the Decision

The decision to start hospice care is never easy, but it is essential to remember that hospice is not the same as giving up.

If you’re noticing any of these signs in your loved one, it may be time to consider hospice care. Talk to their doctor about your concerns and explore what options are available. Hospice care can provide comfort and support for you and your loved one during this difficult time. If you’d like to learn more about the options available for you and your loved ones, please contact Mission Healthcare.