It isn't easy to think about your loved one passing away. However, it's important to be aware of signs your loved one needs hospice care so you can both begin preparing. End of life care may seem scary, but it can be one of the best decisions for your loved one. Here are some of the most common signs your loved one might need hospice care, so you can both start researching different services and options.
Is your loved one having difficulty getting around, or are they experiencing pain when they move? A decreased ability to move around can be a sign that your loved one's health may be declining and they may benefit from end of life care. In addition, mobility issues can be hazardous if left unchecked, so it's important to look into hospice care if your loved one is having difficulty getting around. Your loved one might be at risk of trips, falls, and serious injuries without help from a hospice care center.
Changes in Eating Habits
Have you noticed changes in your loved one's appetite? Are they drinking fewer fluids or eating fewer foods than usual? Changes in eating habits can be concerning, so it's best to always check with your provider. Unfortunately, if your loved one is eating less and less, you might need to consider alternate methods. Hospice care can help your loved one get the necessary vitamins and nutrients they need.
Shortness of Breath
If your loved one has issues with their breathing, it could be a sign that they need professional and compassionate end of life care. Shortness of breath can indicate an underlying medical condition, such as congestive heart failure or even respiratory failure, so ensuring your loved one gets the right help is vital. Agonal respirations are also common in the later stage of the end of life. For patients that need routine oxygen maintenance, hospice care might make it easier to keep them comfortable.
Feedback From Your Provider
According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, over 1.7 million eligible Medicare beneficiaries chose hospice care in 2020. For many, the decision comes after a provider has discussed this option to provide comfort during the last stages of life. If your provider has spoken about hospice care for your loved one, it's important to consider their advice or ask about alternate treatment options. Asking your provider questions can help put your mind at ease and let you know you're making the best decision for your loved one.
If your loved one is experiencing any of the signs above, hospice care may be the right decision to help make sure they stay as comfortable as possible toward the end of their life. For more information or assistance, consider giving Savior Hospice & Palliative Care a call today.