Hospice Care: Is it time?

Determining When Hospice is Appropriate

Hospice care gives patients the gift of time. During this time, hospice can help patients feel comfortable while they come to terms with their diagnosis, spend time reminiscing, say goodbyes, and get their affairs in order. Hospice helps improve their quality of life at the end of life. Hospice care also relieves caregivers and families of the stress and challenges that arise with a terminal illness.

  • Hospice is an appropriate course of care for terminally ill patients in the last six months of their lives, once curative treatments are no longer an option.
  • The goal of hospice is symptom management - rather than treatment or recovery. Hospice care complements the guidance of a patient’s own physician.
  • We bring hospice to you. Our hospice care team helps patients manage their illness and remain as comfortable as possible in their own environment.
  • Hospice helps ease the burden of families caring for patients during this time.

Is it time to consider hospice?

Answering these questions can help:

  • Have you had several hospitalizations or visits to the emergency room over the last six months?
  • Have you been informed by physician of limited life expectancy?
  • Have you increase your medication for physical pain?
  • Have you had several falls within the last six months?
  • Have you made frequent phone calls to physicians’ office?
  • Is the majority of day spent in bed or chair?
  • Do you require assistance with two or more of the following: getting out of bed, bathing, dressing, walking, eating?
  • Do you have a noticeable shortness of breath, even at rest?
  • Do you feel more tired and weaker overall?
  • Have you experienced dramatic weight loss, are your clothes noticeable looser?

Is it time to consider hospice for your loved one?

Three Questions to Ask Yourself:

1. Does your loved one have any of the following illnesses:

    1. Cancer
    2. Heart disease
    3. Dementia/Alzheimer’s
    4. Respiratory disease
    5. Stroke
    6. Kidney disease
    7. ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease

2. Have you noticed your loved one declining

    1. Medication or treatments are no longer effective
    2. They have stopped getting further tests/refusing to go to the hospital
    3. Weight loss/loose fitting clothes
    4. They have had multiple hospitalizations
    5. They are experiencing increased confusion
    6. They are experiencing increased weakness
    7. They are unable to perform normal activities of daily living
      • Dressing
      • Eating
      • Transferring
      • Toileting
      • Personal hygiene

3. Have you discussed your loved ones wishes

    1. What are the preferences of your loved one in regards to end of life care
    2. The hospice team can create a care plan that will honor their wishes

If you have questions about hospice appropriateness, please contact us and we can help answer your questions.