When is It Time to Think About Hospice

The end-of-life stage is a hard one for anyone to think about handling whether it be for oneself or a loved one. While nothing can make it easy, hospice can help to make it easier. Hospice gives families a chance to spend those last months in the comfort of their own home and make the most of the time. But when it’s getting to that time, it can be hard to know exactly when to start thinking about hospice as an option.

Signs That It is Almost Time

No one can be absolutely certain what exact time hospice care is going to be needed, but there are signs detectable in the patient that indicate it might be getting to that time.

  • One of the first signs is that medication and treatment are no longer working as they used to or as they should be. They may stop being as effective when it comes to treating certain illnesses or conditions.
  • Whether it is due to the medication ceasing to work or progressing conditions, another sign is when the patient starts to continuously experience symptoms that are difficult to manage. These could be severe pain, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and other issues that make daily care increasingly hard.
  • One sign that is most difficult to deal with is when the whole family starts to experience extreme physical and emotional stress when it comes to caring for their loved one. This is a normal step in the process, but it is a sign that it is time for someone else with more experience to take over the process and allow the family to enjoy the time they have left.
  • Finally, when the patient wants to focus more on enjoying life and spending time with their family than on any kind of treatment, it is a sign that it is time for hospice care.

Shaking the Sense of Duty

Some families may feel that it is their responsibility over someone else’s to care for their family member towards the end of their days. This is a hard sense to overcome, but it is important to consider that getting hospice isn’t about dumping the responsibility onto someone else. It is about getting your loved one the most experienced care that you can and getting to spend the time enjoying their company and doing things for the last few times.

Many families that only enlisted the help of hospice care at the very end often express a wish that they had done it sooner. It is a chance to make the most out of the time left and get everything in order before the end, and it is certainly not a decision you’re going to regret in the long run.

Six Months Left

The best decision you can make when it comes to turning to hospice care for yourself or a loved one is to get it as early as possible. Hospice will help to ease the stress and tension off of everyone in the family and allow everyone to make the most of the time.

When it comes to being eligible for hospice, it comes down to the doctor. Someone is considered eligible for hospice care after being certified by a doctor as having six months or less to live. A hospice caretaker will develop a care plan based on the individual and cater to any special needs required. These plans are designed to make it easier physically and emotionally on the patient as well as the patient’s family.

The six-months-left mark is not a be all, end all. If the patient lives beyond that, they can continue to receive hospice care for as long as a physician deems them eligible.

Remember, hospice is about making the transition from life to death as easy and comfortable as possible for both the patient and the family.

Let Us Help

If you have questions regarding these or other concerns about assisted living communities in the Aurum Network, contact us at (978) 282-9551 or use our facility locator tool.


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