The very thought of hiring hospice care for a loved one is scary. Unfortunately, many family members put themselves through much more pain and pressure because they don’t want to admit that a loved one needs hospice. They continue to care for them and deny the fact that the end may be near. While hospice care is not a decision that should be taken lightly, it could offer much help, support and comfort for your family. You may want to consider hospice care if your loved one:
- Has a chronic disease or sickness that will shorten their life
- Has a condition that is incurable
- Wants to spend their last days as comfortable as possible in a setting of their choice
- Wants close relatives to participate in their end-of-life care
- Wants to terminate treatment because it is more of a pressure than comfort, or because it is no longer effective
- Was given 6 months or less to live
It’s important to keep in mind that hospice care is available for individuals who are in the last stages of an illness, not just the final days or hours of their death. They may have several more months to live, but they want to spend this time in their own home with loved ones. A hospice care agency may be contacted by your family members and a physician’s order will be arranged for final approval. Once the care staff receives approval, proper care can begin. Some family members believe that by choosing this kind of care, they are “giving up.” This is not true in any way. The main goal of hospice is to keep the patient comfortable as they go through the final stages of their sickness. Any signs of distress are immediately tended to, but sickness itself is no longer treated. Your loved one’s body will start to shut down over time, but with this kind of care, they will be kept comfortable and in the care of someone at all times.